Summer Vehicle Safety

| Car Care & Maintenance |

Summer is here, and as temperatures rise, it’s crucial to ensure your vehicle is prepared for the challenges of hot weather. Proper maintenance can prevent breakdowns, keep you safe, and make your travels more enjoyable. Here are some essential tips for summer vehicle safety.

Summer Vehicle Safety

Summer Changes

Air Conditioning

As temperatures soar, your air conditioning system works harder to keep your vehicle cool. Before hitting the road, check your A/C performance and inspect the cabin air filter. A lack of air conditioning can be particularly dangerous for children, older adults, and individuals sensitive to heat.


Summer months are particularly dangerous for children in terms of hot car deaths. Never leave children unattended in a parked vehicle, even for a minute. A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s, and even a moderate temperature outside can lead to deadly conditions inside a car. For more tips and reminders to prevent heatstroke, visit

Vehicle Checks

Belts and Hoses

High temperatures accelerate the degradation of rubber belts and hoses. Inspect them for signs of wear such as bulges, cracks, or cuts, and replace them if necessary. Ensure all hose connections are secure.

Check for Recalls

Use NHTSA’s Recalls Look-up Tool by entering your license plate or VIN to check for safety recalls. You can also download the SaferCar app for alerts on any recalls issued for your vehicle.


Ensure each tire is inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Check pressure when tires are cold and inspect tread depth regularly. Replace tires with uneven wear or insufficient tread, and consider EV-specific tires if you drive an electric vehicle. Inspect your spare tire and car jack kit as well.

Cooling System and Fluids

Cooling System

Ensure your vehicle has enough coolant and that it meets manufacturer specifications. Check for leaks and replace old coolant as needed.

Fluid Levels

Regularly check oil levels and other fluids such as brake, transmission, power steering, and windshield washer fluids. Address any signs of leakage promptly.

Battery and Lights


Have a mechanic check your battery and charging system, making repairs or replacements if necessary. For hybrid vehicles, maintain sufficient gasoline to support the engine.


Inspect all lights, including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and interior lights. Don’t forget to check trailer brake lights if applicable.

Wiper Blades and Floor Mats

Wiper Blades

Summer heat can damage wiper blades. Replace them if they show signs of wear to ensure they work effectively.

Floor Mats

Properly installed floor mats are essential for safety. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and secure mats with retention clips to prevent interference with pedals.

Before You Go

Stock Your Vehicle

Prepare an emergency roadside kit with essentials such as a cell phone and charger, first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, basic repair tools, nonperishable food, water, and emergency blankets.

Plan Your Route

Check the weather, road conditions, and traffic before starting your trip. Allow ample time for safe travel and familiarize yourself with your route, even if you use a GPS.

Protect Yourself and Loved Ones

Seat Belts

Ensure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up properly. Use appropriate car seats or booster seats for children under 13, and never leave them unattended in or around the vehicle.

Backing Out/Parking

Prevent backovers by checking for children and pets around your vehicle before moving. Remember, large vehicles have larger blind zones.

Year-Round Safety

Stay Alert

Keep your gas tank close to full and plan breaks during long trips to stretch and rest.

Avoid Risky Behaviors

Never text while driving, obey speed limits, and drive sober. Alcohol and drugs impair critical driving skills.

Driver Assistance Technologies

Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s driver assistance technologies, which can help prevent crashes. Check your owner’s manual for detailed information.

Summer Vehicle Safety

Summer Vehicle Safety: Essential Tips for a Safe Journey

By following these tips, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable summer driving experience. Stay safe and happy travels!

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