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Phoenix Summer Car Maintenance Checklist

Updated on April 20, 2021

 Personal Finance

It's summer, and if you live in Phoenix you know it may be time to take a look under the hood of your car. This is important because the season’s hot weather has an impact on your car and its performance. Without further ado, we are here to present a general maintenance checklist you can use to make sure your car is in tip-top shape before the temperature peaks.

Making sure that your car is correctly maintained is essential especially if you have any plans this summer. You don’t want to have your car breaking down rand needing an auto repair loan right before you hit the road this summer, ruining whatever trip you had planned. Even if you don’t have plans, having your car break down while you are driving can be a real pain to deal with the high temperatures in Phoenix, especially with the heat.

Here's Your Phoenix Summer Car Maintenance Checklist:

Check your Oil: Making sure your oil is topped in any season is important, but it's especially important during the summer because the heat can cause greater wear and tear on your engine. Excessive heat can actually cause the materials that make up your engine to expand slightly, if your engine isn’t properly lubricated it can cause damages that will be expensive to repair. Oil is the lifeblood of your engine; it allows your car to keep running smoothly and makes it more durable.

Change Fluids: Make sure to check the fluid levels of your car, as they evaporate at a higher rate during the summer from higher temperatures and general use of your car will also deplete them. Make sure you check the fluid levels of your transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. This is an easy step as it should only take a couple minutes to check and refill them.

Get a Sun Visor: While this isn’t technically vehicle maintenance, it is still a good idea to get one to keep in your car. There are multiple reasons why you should get a sun visor to protect your vehicle from sun damage if you don’t already have one. Another reason to get a sun visor is that it will keep your car cooler by deflecting some of the sun’s rays so that you don’t have to face unbearable heat when you first get in your car after it's been sitting in the sun all day.

The battery life: The summer months are known for shortening the life of your battery. Be sure to check your battery before the heat sets in and the sun is high in the sky. Also, make sure to keep some jumper cables in your car just in case you aren’t able to start your car.

Tire Rotation: The best practice for rotating your tires is to do it every 5,000 miles to prevent your tires from wearing unevenly. Rotating your tires will maximize their lifespan and keep you from having to buy new tires too often. Also remember that tire material is affected by heat, and making sure your tires are in good shape is a great way to improve its performance. If you haven't done it in a while, now is a perfect time.

Tire inspection: This is something that you can do yourself unlike getting your tires rotated. First things first, check your tire pressure to make make sure your tires are properly inflated, not only does this keep your tires from wearing down more quickly, but it will also save you money on gas because your car gets better gas mileage when its tires are properly inflated.

Air Filters Cleaning: The air filter in your vehicle is responsible for filtering out airborne particles. Check your air filters to see if they are clogged with dirt, clogged air filters can’t perform efficiently and will interfere with your car’s operation. It needs to be cleaned often if you are taking your car on long trips this summer.

Car’s AC: What do you think of when you think of summer? Warm weather right? Then it should be a no-brainer that the most important thing to keep in good condition is your car’s AC. Without it, you’ll have to deal with uncomfortably hot car rides in the middle of the summer if it breaks down. It’s better to check your air conditioning now before it gets too hot, especially if it only needs a few minor tweaks to get it performing at its best.

Emergency Kit: Make sure you keep essentials like jumper cables, duct tape, road flares, extra coolant (in case of an overheated engine), a spare tire, and a basic toolkit in your car just in case you have a breakdown on the side of the road, run over some nails and get a flat, or are unable to start your car. You won’t want to be stuck in the heat for too long, so these things are nice to have.

Wash, Wax, Ceramic Coating: Keeping your car well maintained includes washing your car regularly and waxing when it requires it. Waxing is very important as it keeps your car paint from peeling and fading. Waxing also gives your car a well-polished appearance too, making your car look better. Get extra protection with a ceramic coating for your car. You can go with a professional coating or DIY.

Radiator Checkup: After a harsh winter, your radiator will need a checkup. If your radiator’s core was damaged at all during the winter, it could lead to coolant leaking which in turn can result in an overheated engine. Have a mechanic check your radiator for any damages or clogs before you leave on that summer Arizona road trip.

Replace Windshield Wipers: You'll want to make sure your windshield wipers are still good, if they are not functioning properly or are more than 6 months old then you need to replace them. Signs that your windshield wipers should be replaced are splitting, cracking, or skipping on your windshield.

Brake Check!: Going down a mountainside without brakes can be scary, make sure that doesn't happen with a basic checkup and replace them if needed. You don't want your brakes to fail you during one of your summer road trips.

Preparing Your Car for Summer

Your car’s maintenance is a highly important aspect of getting ready for the summer. Now is the perfect time for you to get your car serviced, you can also check out your local workshop for new stuff to add to your vehicle. Need a new car stereo? Get one put in while you are having all of this other work done.

Another great thing about getting your car serviced before summer kicks off is the many discounts. Many and car companies and auto shops in Phoenix have sales going on to try and attract more customers during this time of year. Make sure to check for deals on services that you needed to get done anyways online or by calling the shops that you usually get your work done.

Photograph of author Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe takes pride in assisting audiences with his articles to help them make sound financial decisions.

With over ten years of experience writing financial content his goal at CASH 1 has always been creating engaging and easy-to-digest information for anyone searching for immediate or long-term monetary solutions.

When Joseph is not writing about personal finance, you can find him photographing the Southwest United States with his 4x5 Graflex Crown Graphic camera. He is based in Phoenix, Arizona.