When the summer months roll around, your vehicle is exposed to all sorts of unique weather conditions. The heat of summer puts your vehicle's engine at the risk of overheating while driving, especially for extended periods of time at high speeds. An overheating engine can cause all sorts of problems, from reduced fuel efficiency to actual physical damage to the moving components under your hood. Understanding a few of the simple steps that you can take to help manage the temperature of your car's engine can help you prevent your vehicle from overheating this summer.
Maintain Coolant Levels
You should check your coolant fluid levels fairly regularly in your vehicle, but especially so before you go on any sort of significant trip. You'll want to make sure that the reservoir is filled up until the marked maximum line, and that the fluid itself is not contaminated with bits of dirt or other organic material. You should also keep an eye out for any fluid that may be pooling underneath your vehicle, as this can point to a leak somewhere. Coolant will take on a green hue: if you can't tell the color of the fluid, wipe it up with a clean rag and inspect. Even if it isn't coolant, you should talk to a mechanic about the leak.
Vent the Heat
You should always keep an eye on the temperature gauge while driving in hot weather, and adjust your vehicle's heating and cooling system as needed. Running the air conditioning system actually increases the strain on your engine, which in turn increases engine temperature. This means that if your temperature gauge begins to push into the red, the best thing for you to do is to actually max out the heating system of your vehicle. This will vent the heat from the engine into the cabin of your car, so you may want to open the windows when you do this.
You should have your vehicle regularly inspected by a mechanic to insure that any maintenance that needs to be done is completed early, before it can become a problem and make your vehicle more likely to overheat. In general, you should have your coolant system flushed every 50,000 miles, though this will depend on actual driving habits and the make and model of your vehicle, so check your owner's manual to see what is recommended for you to do to maintain your car's specific coolant system.
For more information, contact a company like GSBP Automotive.