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Summer Driving Tips

BY: Larry Witherspoon Jr.
A young man and woman taking a summertime drive while wearing sunglasses.

With the summer months right around the corner, chances are you have plenty of places to go and things to do,  which means it’s time to prepare your vehicle. But as you’re getting ready for fun in the sun wherever you are in the country, it’s important to understand that there will be far more people out on the road this time of year, including new hazards you might not find during the spring

By taking steps to prepare your vehicle for the summer weather and following some basic summer driving safety tips, you can help ensure you and your passengers make it to your destination safely. 

Preparing Your Vehicle for Summer

When the weather begins to get warmer during the summertime, the various components that make up your vehicle will also start to feel the heat. And when it comes to the scorching summer sun, the last thing you want is to be stranded out on the road with your car not working. But, by handling all routine maintenance and some preventative maintenance tasks, you can ensure your vehicle is ready to hit the road. 

Some of the vital maintenance you should do for your vehicle to prepare for your next summer road trip will include: 

  • Checking Your Tire Pressure: As the temperature increases, air inside tires can expand and increase the tire pressure (PSI). For older tires, this can be dangerous as the rubber is stretched more than it can handle, potentially leading to a blowout. This should also include any spare tires you may have as well. After all, what good is a spare if it’s flat? Simply look at your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure and use a tire pressure gauge. If you find your tires are overinflated or underinflated, adjust accordingly while still considering the temperature changes throughout the day.
  • Replacing Vehicle Fluids: Just as you need to stay hydrated during the blistering summer heat, so does your vehicle, as essential fluids such as coolant can begin to evaporate. If these fluids were already low, this could push your vehicle over the edge and lead to overheating or worse. Even having enough windshield washer fluid can help ensure you have visibility should your windshield become dusty or dirty while on the road.
  • Testing Your Battery Life: Car batteries, like all batteries, gain their charge from a chemical reaction inside of them. However, this chemical reaction is caused by fluids (aka battery acid). So like all fluids, battery acid can evaporate at extremely high temperatures, which can damage the battery and cause corrosion. Extreme heat can even cause overcharging, eventually shortening your battery’s life much sooner than normal.

Just as you need to prepare your vehicle from the summer heat, it’s also vital to prepare it (and yourself) from unexpected breakdowns and repairs. And without the help of an active factory warranty, you’d be left paying for these kinds of costs yourself, but not when you have Endurance

With the Advantage auto protection plan, you can get comprehensive breakdown protection for your vehicle’s most vital components, including your engine, transmission, air conditioning, power steering and more. On top of that, each Advantage plan can also help take the stress out of preparing your vehicle with up to $3,500 in yearly maintenance savings, including essential services such as tire rotations, PSI checks, alignment checks, engine diagnostic exams and even help on your car’s next state safety inspection. But that’s not all, as you’ll also be able to enjoy even more coverage and savings with several special, one-time services like cooling system maintenance, a battery replacement, a brake pad/shoe replacement and more.

And as an Endurance customer, you’ll also be automatically given 24/7 roadside assistance and towing, trip interruption coverage, and rental car reimbursements regardless of your plan. That means wherever you are across the country, you can be certain that Endurance can help get you to the certified repair shop or ASE Certified mechanic of your choice. We’ll also be able to help you throughout every step of your claims process to help you get back on the road fast without worrying about expensive, out-of-pocket repair bills.

Summer Driving Tips

Safe driving in the summer, fall, winter or spring doesn’t have to just revolve around being on the road. Preparing your vehicle, stocking up on essentials, and more will all help ensure you have everything you need for your next road trip or a trip to the store.

Inspect Vehicle Fluids & Parts

A man refilling his transmission fluid in car.

As mentioned above, your car’s essential fluids can start to evaporate as the weather gets warmer. Use the changing seasons as an opportunity to ensure your windshield wiper fluid, coolant, engine oil and any other fluids are all at proper fluid levels. If you can do this yourself, be sure to follow the specifications in your owner’s manual. Otherwise, take your vehicle to a service specialist for a tune-up to have the fluids added.  

Build an Emergency Kit

If you are ever stranded in the heat without a working vehicle, the only thing that can make it worse is having no supplies. Consider building an emergency kit with supplies such as a first aid kit, a flashlight (with extra batteries), jumper cables, non-perishable food, drinking water, a spare cell phone charger or portable charger, emergency flares or road reflectors, and more. You can split your emergency kit up so that some can fit in your glove box while the rest (perhaps bigger items) can go in your trunk.

Watch Out for Extra Cars & Pedestrians

A large group of pedestrians crossing in front of a row of cars at a New York City crosswalk.

The warmer summer weather presents unique hazards that aren’t seen as often the rest of the year. For example, there can be far more teenage drivers out on the road with less experience with schools out for the summer. Additionally, no school means more families will be on the road heading to their summer vacation destinations, while you’re also likely to see an increase in motorcyclist or bicyclist traffic. So as you begin your trip, whether it be a long road trip or a quick run to the grocery store, keep an eye out for extra drivers and pedestrians on the road. And remember, always follow the speed limit or any other signs you see on your drive, as failing to do so could lead to potential collisions.

Double Check Car Seats & Passengers

Regardless if you’re going down the block or across the country, ensure everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seatbelt. Additionally, if you have kids or are carpooling with kids, take the extra time to ensure that car seats are secured and that all child safety locks are operating. Also, regardless if you have children or are a pet owner, always take extra precautions to ensure everyone is out of the vehicle when you park. Even just a few minutes in a locked car can be extremely dangerous when dealing with hot weather.   

Plan Any Road Trips Ahead of Time

A mother and her two young daughters, all wearing hats, are sitting in the back of their open car trunk looking at a road trip map.

A big part of being a cautious driver is having a plan and knowing where you’re going. Take the time to plan your road trips in advance, such as checking for gas stations, lodging, places to eat and even the occasional repair shop along your potential routes. This can help ensure that even if you experience an unexpected breakdown or other issues, you won’t be too far from the essentials like food (outside your emergency kit) and a place to rest the night. 

Protect Your Vehicle with Endurance

Preventative maintenance is one of the most important steps you can take to prepare your vehicle at any time of the year. In the summer especially, ensuring your vehicle is ready to handle what the season has to offer can help make the difference between a smooth ride or you feeling the heat of an unexpected breakdown or repair. But when it comes to protecting your vehicle from expensive car repairs and saving on its essential maintenance, no other auto protection plan in the country can help you the way Advantage can. 

With an Advantage auto protection plan from Endurance, you can get comprehensive breakdown coverage combined with up to $3,500 in yearly maintenance services, including essentials like PSI checks, alignment checks, engine diagnostic exams and more. Plus, you’ll also be able to save on a new battery, a front or rear wiper blade set replacement, cooling system and more as a part of Advantage’s special, one-time services.

And regardless of the Endurance plan you choose or where your trip takes you, you’ll be able to enjoy 24/7 roadside assistance and towing, trip interruption and rental car reimbursements for free. You can also enjoy a full year of Endurance Elite Benefits, including up to two tire replacements or repairs, collision discounts and more. All you need to do is find the Endurance plan that’s right for you and your vehicle, pay a small activation fee and enjoy your entire year’s worth of extra perks and savings.

For more information about how Endurance can help protect you and your vehicle any time of the year, give a member of our award-winning customer service team a call at (800) 253-8203 or request a risk-free quote today. Also, the Endurance blog can be another great resource where you can find more articles on topics like seasonal maintenance tips, road trip planning guides, extended warranty comparisons and more.

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