We know how hot it can get here in New Jersey when the summer sun finally starts cranking things up. Not only is it time to fire up the barbecue, get out your shorts and flip-flops, and pop a cold brewski on the back porch, you should start thinking about getting your car ready for the warmer months that are on our doorstep. Hotter weather definitely affects your car in many ways, from the cooling system and battery to your tires, brakes, and engine performance. A failure of any of these critical components could cost you a lot of money and even be dangerous.
The service pros at Toyota World of Newton, your hometown Newton, NJ Toyota dealer, are experts when it comes to helping you service and maintain your vehicle, regardless of make or model. So they’ve come up with the following handy guide that will help you get your car ready for summer. Whether going on a family summer vacation or just driving around town, you don’t want car problems to interfere with all the fun that lies in store this summer.
Cooling System – Having the right amount and type of coolant is key to keeping your engine from overheating. In fact, according to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), overheated engines are the greatest cause of summer breakdowns. You can check the coolant level by inspecting plastic overflow reservoir next to the radiator. NEVER open the radiator cap when the engine is hot as this could lead to serious injury. Check your Owner’s Manual to see what type of coolant you should use. You should flush and refill your cooling system about every two years.
Air Conditioning – You’re about to put a lot of stress and strain on your AC system. One tip is to start your AC when your car is idling. If you turn the AC on when driving on the freeway, you’ll cause premature wear and tear on the AC clutch. If your AC system doesn’t seem to be working correctly, please take advantage of our Toyota World of Newton Toyota Express Maintenance service for an inspection.
Oil & Transmission Fluids – Check your engine oil at least once a month. A good idea is to check the oil at each fill-up. Checking the transmission fluid is a bit more involved so consult your Owner’s Manual for the correct procedure. When it doubt, our service techs will inspect your oil and fluid levels for you. If you make frequent short trips, are in a lot of stop-and-go traffic, tow a trailer, or go on extended trips you should change your oil at least every 3,000 miles.
Filters – A clogged air filter can rob your car of performance, reduce fuel economy, and cause your engine to work harder and thus hotter. Locate the air filter (see your Owner’s Manual), and replace it if necessary. The same goes for the cabin air filter. Other important filters to have checked are your car’s fuel filter and PCV valve.
Battery – Extreme temperatures are notorious for killing batteries. Batteries could fail at a moment’s notice. If your vehicle is getting harder to start this could be a warning sign that your battery is going bad. If you find a lot of corrosion on the battery posts, you can clean it with a wire brush. Always wear protective gloves and eyewear when doing this. The only way you can know for sure if your battery is about to go is by having our service techs inspect your electrical system.
Tires – Tires are very susceptible to changes in temperature. That’s why you should check your tire pressure on a monthly basis. Many newer vehicles, such as our 2016 Toyotas for sale in New Jersey at Toyota World of Newton, come with a tire pressure monitoring system that alerts you to improper tire inflation. If your car doesn’t have this feature, it’s easy to check the pressure yourself. Look for a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door that tells you the correct tire pressure and always check the pressure when the tire is cold.
While you’re at it, you should also inspect your tires for uneven wear, cracks, gouges, or other visible abnormalities, and tire tread depth. Insert a penny upside down in the tire tread. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, you should be shopping for a new set of tires. Generally speaking, you should rotate your tires every 5,000 miles. Don’t forget to check the spare tire and make sure that your jack is working properly.
Power Steering & Brake Fluids – Clear plastic reservoirs to make these easy to check. If you need to add fluids, do so from a clean, unopened container to avoid contamination.
Windshield Wipers – The sun causes rubber to become hard and brittle. Look at your wiper blades and see if they are showing signs of wear or if the rubber is stiff. Make sure you have plenty of windshield washer fluid, too.
Lights – Walk around your vehicle and make sure that all lights are working properly. If your headlight lenses are cloudy, you can use an off-the-shelf lens polish or have them professionally restored.
Belts & Hoses – Look for any soft spots or bulges in hoses, along with any loose connections. Also, notice if any belts seem loose or are cracking and fraying. Inspecting these items is best left to the experts here at Toyota World of Newton.
Exterior Paint – Wax and polish your exterior to help combat harmful UV rays and to extend the life of your paint job. If you do this yourself, avoid direct sun and try to wax your car in the shade, if possible.
Keep Your Car Garaged – Keeping your car in the garage will prevent unnecessary exposure to the sun. If you don’t have a garage or carport, think about investing in a car cover or parking your car in the shade as much as possible.
Clean The Engine – Dirt, grime, grease, and gunk buildup is like putting a blanket over your engine, causing it to run hotter. Spray wash your engine using an engine degreaser or have your engine professionally cleaned.
Summer Savings Are Heating Up At Toyota World Of Newton
As the temperature heats up, the prices go down with smokin’ hot summer savings on our entire lineup of new 2015 and 2016 Toyotas. Get your summer fun in high gear with great deals and Toyota lease specials. You can get into a Toyota for less by choosing from one of our many like-new Toyota Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. Looking for a bargain? Then check out our large selection of quality used cars for less than $15,000 for sale in Newton, NJ.
Stop by our dealership and let us put some sizzle in your summer. Visit us today at 66 Hampton House Road, Route 206, Newton, NJ 07860. For Sales, please call 877-701-3721. For Service, call 888-835-3514.