This week, we shot of bottle rockets and the temp crossed north of 90 degrees, Fahrenheit. Summer is officially here. But just because it’s warm and beachy doesn’t mean that summer is a season without a few car concerns. At CCC Manhattan, we’ve been managing a fleet of vintage and persnickety cars for more than a decade, so we have a few summer motoring tips to share with you.
1 – Sunblock. In June it’s a chrome dome. In July and August, you’re looking at a full-blown red head if you don’t lather up in that convertible or spyder. Don’t forget that left arm too.
2 – Somewhere on that instrumentation cluster is a temperature gauge. In most modern cars, we almost forget what we’re driving is still machinery, but the older cars will definitely let you know. Keep an eye on that temp gauge, especially on the hotter days and in stop and go traffic.
3 – Speaking of hot temperatures, if you’re driving a classic, you might want to consider a bigger, more robust, aluminum radiator. If you can move more coolant, you can cool more things. While you’re under the hood, it’s also best to check the coolant system hoses for leaks and breaches.
4 – Of course things are slippery in the winter, but did you know the roads lose traction in the hot summer heat too? Think of all those other poorly maintained cars around you. They’re belching slick coolant, oil is pushing past hot gaskets and the road below is soaking it up. When the heat rises, these oils and chemicals rise to the surface of the tarmac and things get greasy. Keep an eye out for the dark spots when driving.
5 – Change that air filter. Over the colder months, leaves fall and cover our cars, decompose and clog things up, like air filters, drainage points, etc. Clean the leaves, and check all the filters.
6 – Tires. Are you still rocking those winter tires? Or, did you use your summer tires all winter and wear them down? Make sure you’re on the right rubber and that there’s enough of it. Pressure is important too. The temps swing wildly from summer to winter, and with it, tire pressure swings too. Make sure you’re operating within the tire manufactures’ pressure suggestions.
7 – Vision quest. Over the winter, our cars get grimy. Additionally, when the sun starts to blaze through your windshield, it chemically affects the dashboard, causing that material to release a bit of vapor, which winds up on your windshield as a haze. Make sure to give the inside of your windows a good cleaning – you’ll be surprised how dirty they were.
8 – Timing. Remember that more people are driving on public roads in the summer, so traffic jams happen. Make sure to check your route out and leave early enough to avoid the traffic and keep your car from overheating It’s better to get there early than it is to get there hot and on a flatbed.