Vehicle maintenance checklist:

Prepare your car for summer driving today.

Summer vehicle maintenance checklist: following this preventative maintenance checklist can make summer driving safer, smoother and even less expensive.

Once you make it through winter, it’s tempting to relax and neglect your vehicle. After all, the harsh conditions that make winter driving so stressful for your vehicle are over, right?

While that’s true, summer brings its own set of challenges. Scorching heat, relentless humidity, heavy rain and other factors all impact your vehicle.

But, by taking a bit of time now, you can make it easier for your vehicle to deal with summer conditions -- and perhaps prevent some eye-popping repair bills later.

Follow this summer vehicle maintenance checklist to care for your vehicle in the hottest season.

  1. Start with the basics -- get an oil change. If you live in a mild climate or will be towing a trailer, a higher viscosity oil might be necessary.
  2. Inspect your belts and hoses for evidence of damage (such as cracks, fraying, leakage or swelling). The heat and humidity of summer will only make these conditions worse, and might cause a breakdown at an inopportune moment. Shop online or stop by our auto parts stores for a complete selection of belts and hoses, and other quality auto parts.
  3. Evaluate your windshield wipers. While they survived winter, it doesn’t mean they’re ready to tackle summer. And you don’t want to deal with inadequate windshield clearing when thunderstorms hit. Purchase your blades from Advance Auto Parts, and we’ll install them for free. Plus, we carry wiper blades designed for summer driving conditions.
  4. Take a look the condition of your coolant, as well as its level. If necessary, add coolant or perform a flush-and-fill. Summer’s heat makes it more difficult for your engine to keep its cool.
  5. Test your battery. While rough starting conditions are associated with winter, summer actually can be more demanding on your battery. Take your battery to any of our auto parts stores for a free inspection. Advance Auto Parts installs new batteries for free, too.
  6. Assess your air conditioning system’s performance. If it fails to give you the usual relief, you might need to add refrigerant. Or, see if there’s another cause, such as a leak, loose drive belt or a clogged condenser.
  7. Check the tread on your tires. Rain-slickened roads shorten stopping distances and impair maneuverability. Poor tire tread worsens both conditions. So, replace your tires as needed.
  8. Rotate your tires -- and be sure to frequently check their air pressure. Big temperature swings -- such as from the extreme daytime heat to the relative cool overnight -- can cause your tires to lose pressure more quickly. This can lead to inferior performance and reduced gas mileage.

Get the expert advice you need to complete your summer preventative maintenance checklist.

Whether it’s for winter or summer driving, Advance Auto Parts has the quality auto parts you need for added safety and performance.

Plus, our staff is ready to answer your questions, and guide you through your vehicle maintenance checklist. So, why go it alone?

Trust Advance Auto Parts for the quality auto parts you rely on for summer driving.