Summer Vehicle Checks

| Car Care & Maintenance |

Ensure safety, reliability, and peace of mind with regular vehicle maintenance. Whether planning a long road trip or just driving around town, thorough vehicle checks prevent unexpected breakdowns and keep you safe on the road. Consider these crucial aspects:

Summer Vehicle Checks

Check for Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a convenient Recalls Look-up Tool that allows you to enter your license plate or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly learn if your vehicle has any critical safety issues. If a recall is found, the tool provides steps for free repairs. Additionally, you can download the SaferCar app to receive alerts on your phone if a recall is issued. Staying informed about recalls is vital for your safety.


Properly maintain your tires to ensure vehicle safety and performance. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Inflation Pressure: Fill each tire to the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, listed in your owner’s manual and on a placard located on the driver’s door pillar or door frame. Check the pressure when the tires are cold (not driven on for at least three hours) for an accurate reading. Never inflate tires to the maximum pressure listed on the tire itself.
  • Regular Inspections: Inspect your tires at least once a month and before long road trips. Look for uneven wear or insufficient tread. Use the penny test to check tread depth: place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.
  • Rotation and Alignment: If you find uneven wear across the tires’ tread, rotate your tires and/or align your wheels before traveling.
  • Tire Age: Replace tires every six years, regardless of use, as recommended by some manufacturers.
  • EV-Specific Tires: Since electric vehicles are typically heavier, they require specific tires to bear the weight, maximize performance, and minimize noise. Maintain similar care for gas-powered or hybrid vehicles.
  • Spare Tire and Damage Check: Inspect for any damage, such as cuts, punctures, bulges, and cracks. Ensure your spare tire and car jack kit are in good condition.

Cooling System

Prevent overheating by ensuring your vehicle has enough coolant that meets the manufacturer’s specifications. Check for leaks and replace old coolant as needed. Regularly inspect the cooling system according to your vehicle owner’s manual.

Fluid Levels

Maintain proper fluid levels to ensure vehicle function and longevity. Check and top off the following fluids as needed:

  • Oil: Regularly check your vehicle’s oil level and change it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Brake Fluid: Ensure the brake fluid is at the correct level.
  • Transmission or Clutch Fluid: Check and maintain appropriate levels.
  • Power Steering Fluid (if applicable): Ensure it’s filled to the recommended level.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid: Keep the reservoir full for clear visibility.


Have a mechanic check your battery and charging system regularly. Replace or repair as needed to avoid being stranded. For hybrid-electric vehicles, keep gasoline in the tank to support the gasoline engine. Visit NHTSA’s Hybrid and Electric Vehicle guide for more information on high-voltage batteries.


Ensure all lights are functioning properly for visibility and safety. Check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights. Ensure trailer brake lights and turn signals are also operational if you’re towing.

Wiper Blades

After winter storms and spring rains, your windshield wiper blades might need replacement. Summer heat can damage wiper blades, so check for wear and replace them if necessary to ensure clear visibility during summer showers.

Floor Mats

Properly install floor mats to prevent interference with the operation of the accelerator or brake pedal, which increases the risk of a crash. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and use retention clips to secure the mat. Always use mats that are the correct size and fit for your vehicle.

Summer Vehicle Checks

Summer Vehicle Checks

By performing these essential vehicle checks, you can ensure a safer and more reliable driving experience. Regular maintenance not only prevents breakdowns but also helps you avoid costly repairs down the road. Keep your vehicle in top condition and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re prepared for any journey. Safe travels!

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