July 9th, 2015
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This photo was submitted by a Con-way Truckload driver to our True2Blue Road Trip contest! Submit yours here.

 

When the summer temperatures reach extremes, it’s easy to see how it affects our surroundings. We can see the grass turn brown or the sunburn on our skin, but it’s hard to understand the damage it does on our vehicles when you can’t see it. We put so much focus on vehicle maintenance during the winter months that we tend to forget that the heat can do just as much harm as the cold. Ensuring you properly maintain your vehicle will ensure that you reach your destinations safely. Below are some examples of parts of your vehicle that might experience extra wear and tear during the summer months.

Tires

Heat causes your tires to expand, meaning they need more air to be properly inflated. The asphalt can reach temperatures well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit during sunny days. Due to the constant contact with the hot asphalt, your tires will lose air more quickly than normal, which increases the chances of having a blowout. To avoid a hazardous situation, be sure to check your tires at least once a month and keep them properly inflated.

Summer breakdown kit

Just like the winter months, it’s a good idea to have a ‘breakdown kit’ specific for the summer months. Below are some examples of what to keep on hand:

  • Water (one gallon per person)
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Emergency blanket (doubles as shade)
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Basic tool kit
  • Pocket knife and/or multi-tool
  • Cell phone charger
  • Jumper cables
  • Hazard signs and flares
  • Can of tire sealant
  • Shop towels or paper towels
  • Work gloves

Oil

With the kids out of school, summer is a perfect time to take road trips. With the extra miles you put on your vehicle during the summer months, be sure to check your oil levels, especially before taking a long trip. Typically, it’s good practice to check your oil at least once a month and change the oil every 3,000 miles. If you are putting extra miles on your vehicle, you might need to increase the frequency of your oil changes to ensure your engine stays properly lubricated. Most modern cars and trucks have a low oil level indicator light that will come on to alert the driver. Lack of preventive care can cause your engine to seize and blow up. Making sure you get regularly scheduled oil changes can save headache — and money — down the road.

While we can’t control everything that happens, we can take steps to prevent unsafe situations from occurring. By following these tips, you can help make sure that you spend your time doing something fun this summer, instead of sitting at a mechanic’s shop.

 

 

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