With the arrival of summer, more drivers will hit the American highways for summer vacations. Here are a few summer driving tips to help prepare your vehicle and ensure it is in optimal driving condition for your summer getaway or your day-to-day driving in hotter weather conditions:
1. Change your motor oil regularly.
Regular oil changes with the correct grade of motor oil can improve gas mileage up to two percent.* Synthetic oils are best for high temperature driving conditions and for added protection when towing.
2. Check your tire pressure.
Keeping your tires properly inflated can help improve gas mileage up to three percent.* Be sure to check your tire pressure before you begin driving for the day. This allows you to get a cold pressure reading (the number commonly referenced in your owner’s manual).
3. Clean your fuel system.
This helps improve fuel economy and maximize engine performance by removing dirt and deposits from the fuel system.
4. Use cruise control on highways.
This will help you maintain a constant speed, which in most cases helps improve fuel economy.
5. Do not idle.
It requires less gas to restart a vehicle than to let it idle.
6. Park in the shade or a garage.
The sun zaps fuel from your gas tank. Parking in the shade or garage will lessen the amount of evaporative emissions.
7. Check your cooling system (radiator).
It protects your engine from overheating in hot summer conditions. Follow your owner’s manual for regular maintenance.
8. Check your serpentine belt.
Replacing the serpentine belt when needed helps prevent breakdowns. It keeps your vehicle’s power steering, alternator, water pump and AC running.
9. Check your air conditioning system.
Nothing makes the summer heat more unbearable than traveling with an air conditioning system that will not cool properly.
10. Check your windshield wipers and wiper fluid.
The combination of bad wipers and a summer downpour can leave you with no view of the road. Be sure you have plenty of wiper fluid to help keep your windshield clear of dirt and debris.
Also, remember to follow the vehicle maintenance procedures outlined in your owner’s manual. These can help improve your fuel economy and prolong the life of your vehicle. The following should be included:
• Check your transmission fluid: Changing the fluid when needed helps restore your vehicle’s operation by protecting the gears from grinding.
• Rotate your tires regularly: This prevents uneven wear, which can shorten the life of your tires. It also improves vehicle handling and traction.
• Check your gearbox fluid: Changing the fluid when needed restores additives to protect the gears from grinding. This is especially important for four-wheel drive vehicles because they have three gear boxes.
Follow these Summer Driving Tips and your vehicle’s regular maintenance schedule to get optimal driving conditions and good fuel economy for your vehicle this summer. So, get out there and enjoy your summer vacation, or at least, you can feel better about driving during the dog days of summer. To learn more or to find a Valvoline Instant Oil Change near you, visit vioc.com.
* As cited from the U.S. Department of Energy at fueleconomy.gov