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Summertime Car Maintenance

Living in a desert state means summer temperatures can reach extreme highs, and with temperatures this month being higher than usual, vehicle maintenance becomes a critical component. Hot weather can accelerate the rate at which vehicle components break down, causing a number of concerns if your vehicle is not properly maintained. Breaking down during these high temperatures is dangerous, especially if it occurs when on a road trip away from public areas. To help you avoid this situation, here are some good steps to take in order to keep your car in its best working order, even in high temperatures:

- Check your tires' air pressure, wear and tread. Because the rising external temperatures can affect your tires air pressure, it is important to check your levels more frequently than during the cooler months. Having the proper amount of air pressure helps avoid tire blowouts, minimizes wear and tear on your tires, and can increase gas efficiency.

- Change your oil and oil filter. During the summer heat, make certain you are diligent about changing your oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles.

- Hoses and belts are especially sensitive to high temperatures and need to be maintained to keep your engine cooled and running smoothly.

- Replace your wipers. Windshield wipers dry out from extreme heat, causing them to not work properly when needed. In the desert climate, these should be replaced after each summer.

- Check your brakes before you leave on any road trips or long drives.

- Maintain your fluid levels so that your car runs properly and does not overheat.

- Check your battery, keeping the connections clean and, if necessary for your model, keep the water levels full.

- Have your air conditioning checked to make certain there are no leaks causing a lack of refrigerant.

Being stranded during these hot summer months can be miserable and dangerous. By following these steps, you will dramatically decrease your chances of a vehicle break down and help avoid costly repairs. Planning ahead is an important way to have a better, safer tomorrow - on the highways and in life!

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