Kenny "The Car Guy" Walters is the owner of Mufflers and More in Walled Lake.
Here are his tips to keeping your car running smoothly in the hot summer months.
Fluids work harder and evaporate faster in the summer as the vehicle travels more miles. Fluids work harder on hot days, and levels drop faster.
Coolant is your car's favorite summer cocktail. Over time, particles build up in antifreeze, causing contamination. If coolant is not fresh and clean, it can eat away at aluminum parts and destroy the engine. Water pumps can fail from contaminated coolant. Flushing the system every two years will prevent that. Hoses also deteriorate over time, as hot weather expedites their demise.
Heat can cause a vehicle's battery fluid to evaporate, or trigger malfunctions that overcharge the battery, leading to shorter battery life.
Continuously checking transmission fluid levels can overall lead to a longer life of a car and prevent unexpected breakdowns. The fluid has a reddish hue, but if it is dark and has a burning smell, then it is time to get the vehicle checked out.
The radiator cap plays a big role in keeping the engine from overheating, so make sure it is not cracked, broken or missing.
The fan belt is an integral part of the cooling system, so it is important that it is in tiptop shape.
To make sure the air conditioning system flows properly, clear away debris from the air condenser (the grate in front of the engine).
Check any puddle under the vehicle to make sure it is not coolant, transmission fluid, oil, power-steering or brake fluid. (If it has any smell at all, it could be one of these.) Usually it is condensation from the air conditioner, but it is best to double check.
Sitting in traffic can cause engines to overheat quickly, so it is important to cool the engine. If it's a blazingly hot day, shut off the car and roll down the windows.