Temperatures over 90 degrees and high humidity can challenge your vehicle's air conditioning system. Here are some easy tips to keep you and your passengers cool on the road.
If possible, leave the windows down slightly on hot days to reduce heat build-up. An A/C sytem works by removing heat, so the cooler the interior is to start with, the easier and faster the A/C will do its job.
When you get in the car, open all the windows completely, or even open the doors, for a moment to vent the hot interior air quickly.
When you first turn the A/C on, set the controls to MAX or REC and use the highest blower speed. This moves the greatest volume of air and recirculates it for even faster cool-down. As soon as you are comfortable, switch the system to NORM of OUTSIDE or FRESH, and select a lower fan speed. The lower blower speed produces colder the air from the system.
Does your cool air have a bad odor, perhaps like "dirty socks" or a gym locker? Remember to set the system to the OUTSIDE air mode (not REC) frequently to help prevent or lessen the problem.
Automatic Temperature Control systems operate differently than manual systems. Read your owner's manual to gain understanding of exactly how your system works. With most automatic systems, the quickest cool-down comes by setting the temperature as low as it will go at first, then adjusting it later to occupant comfort.
Prior to the winter driving season, when conditions can be less than ideal and colder temperatures demand more of your vehicle, it makes sense to take preventive measures to ensure you vehicle is roadworthy. This information is taken from Michigan Living and is published by the Automobile Club of Michigan.
Check battery terminals for corrosion. Terminals can be cleaned with a wire brush dipped in baking soda and water. Check the antifreeze strength in the radiator with a hydrometer. Antifreeze should be clean, at the proper level and provide protection to 36 degrees below zero. Check the oil level with the dipstick. Add oil when needed. Check the owner's manual for the intervals between changes and for the recommended SAE viscosity.Keep the brake fluid level within a quarter-inch from the top of the reservoirs. Follow directions in the owner's manual for power steering fluid. If fluid is needed, add slowly to avoid overfilling. The car should be on level ground in "park" position with the engine running to check the automatic transmission fluid. Press the middle of each belt to test tension. If it gives more than 1 to 1.5 inches, tighten or replace it. Check hoses for cracks or fraying. Replace as needed. Hold the air filter up to a light. If you can't see the light through it, replace it. Keep the windshield washer reservoir filled with solvent. Replace wipers if they are split, leave streaks, or skip. Make sure the lights and signals work. Replace bulbs as necessary. Inspect tire tread wear and maintain proper pressure indicated in the owner's manual. Check pressure with a gauge when tires are cold.
In the Midwest where the weather is up and down, you should invest in regular professional car detailing to maximize your vehicle’s potential and prolong its usefulness. Humidity and moisture are just 2 of the things that can bring on premature oxidation to your vehicle. You should also touch up your vehicle while waiting for the next appointment.
*Your vehicle will require regular washing and waxing even in the dead of winter. It would be better for you to stock up on the necessary supplies before autumn ends so you won’t have to rush out to the hardware store. Paint sealant and car wax are possibly two of the most important items for winter car care. Having them on hand for the rest of winter will help protect your paint job from the harshest of winter debris, road salt.
While road salt is perfect for de-slicking the roads and ensuring a good grip for your tires, it can also be the number one factor that will speed up your vehicles oxidation. A good thorough washing every now and then will lift road salt off your tires and paintwork. Don’t wait for spring to clean up your vehicle.
When it comes to picking out the best paint sealant or car wax, there are a number of considerations that come to mind, such as cost, ease of application, durability and formulation. The smartest way to go about it is to get the sealant that promises the longest protection for your vehicle, so you won’t have to reapply the product as often.
Other things you might want to try to care for your vehicle include the following:
*Top up your fluids. Winterizing your car means taking care of the basic things that keep it running well: engine oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, fuel and water. Check the levels every week or so to ensure that you have enough to make it to and from your home.
*Care for your wheels. If the metal surfaces of your vehicle are subjected to the oxidation power of road salt, the wheels and tires take the worst of the beating. They come into direct contact with road salt, dirt and muck with every revolution. Clean out your tires regularly with a pressure washer to discourage the buildup of grease and salt. Keep your tires supple and your wheels shiny with a generous coating of tire dressing and wheel cleaner. Also check your tires for proper inflation and alignment.
*Watch your driving style. Winter is probably the most dangerous season for drivers, with increased wind speed, limited visibility and unstable tire traction working against the car. Your vehicle can be 100% prepped for winter, but if you have poor driving skills, it will not matter. Simple things like reducing stone chip damage can be achieved by allowing a good distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Keeping to close will heighten the chances of your car being sandblasted by flying road salt and grit, which will in turn cause damage to your vehicle.