Summer Car Care Tips – Before hitting the road this summer, make sure your ride is in good condition

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Manuel Amarillas Vanegas
The arrival of summer marks an ideal time to make sure your car or truck is in good working condition. The extremely high temperatures of a Baja summer can be hard on your vehicle – everything from the paint down to the tires is subjected to harsher than normal conditions.   You don’t want to be stranded in this heat because the health of your car has gone unchecked.
Here are a few tips to help make sure you and your vehicle are ready for summer.
1. Kick the tires. Even get out the tire-pressure gauge and check that your tires are inflated to the level recommended in your owner’s manual. Summer heat increases the pressure in tires, so test the pressure before driving far. Don’t forget to check your spare as well.
2. Change the oil. This is especially important in the summer because hot weather requires extra lubrication for the engine. If you will be pulling a trailer, use “severe duty” oil.
3. Make a service stop. Your mechanic is in the best position to tell you what needs to be done to your car, but a quick tune-up before a long trip is a good idea. Save some fuel
4. Be prepared for the worst. Always have an Emergency Road Kit in your car just in case. Your kit should include:
Flashlights and flares
Jumper cables
Tire inflator
Extra fluids (oil, coolant, transmission)
A First Aid kit
A jack
Rags/paper towels
5. Follow posted highway speed limits. This will increase your car’s fuel efficiency because gas mileage declines by a few percent for each 5 MPH increase in speed above 45 mph.
6. Buckle up, slow down, and have fun!
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