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Tips to keep your Honda cool during the summer
March 21st, 2016
This weekend saw the first day of Spring, and now would be a good time to start thinking about getting your vehicle ready for those dog days of summer before it gets too late. Summer can be extremely tough on your car, as the excessive heat can put a lot of strain on almost every part including the battery, cooling system, and tires. Today, we’d like to cover those areas, and what you can do to keep them working at their best, when the temperature begins to rise.
One of the simplest ways to keep your car running at its best during hotter months is to check and keep your battery working efficiently. Heat causes the fluid in your battery to evaporate, damaging the internal structure of the battery and causing it to fail prematurely. Heat can also cause the voltage regulator inside the battery to malfunction, which causes the battery to overcharge easily, which can also ruin the battery.
The best way to get the most out of your battery is to have the charging system checked regularly to ensure its charging at the correct rate. Overcharging can result in damage to the battery which will greatly reduce its life. We recommend having it checked at every oil change to ensure it functioning like it should, and if you do use a battery charger, do not leave it connected past the point where it is fully charged.
If you have a battery that requires water, it should be topped off with distilled water often to ensure that the fluid does not evaporate which can damage the inside of the battery. You should also make sure to keep the battery clean, as dirt serves as a conductor, which can drain the battery prematurely.
No part of your Honda or Acura takes more abuse than the cooling system during the summer. This system’s job is to prevent your engine from overheating, and sees much more strain on it when the temperature rises. Heat can cause temperature sensors and fan motors to wear out, hoses to dry out and leak, and even can cause the thermostats to fail.
To keep the cooling system working like it should, you should completely change your coolant at least once every year, and make sure the fluid is topped off regularly. The coolant should be a 50/50 mix of distilled water and coolant. Most coolants including Honda’s OEM coolant is premixed, so they take the guesswork out of mixing. By changing the coolant annually, you are making sure the system is clean and free of corrosion which maximizes the cooling efficiency of the system.
You should also think about getting the system visually inspected and pressure tested at least once a year to make sure that all of the components are working properly. Cleaning the radiator is also a good idea. Simply spray water on the radiator when it’s cool, and use a soft bristled brush to clean of bugs, dirt and other road debris that can reduce the air flow through the radiator.
In areas where the temperature reaches 90+ degrees (like here in Arizona), making sure your A/C system is working like it should is paramount. Your A/C system uses a chemical called Freon to produce cold air for your cabin, and over time it can dissipate. Heat can also cause electrical components like the blower motor or resistor to wear prematurely, and rubber in the hoses to dry out and leak.
To make sure you have cold air when you need it, the easiest way to keep the system running efficiently is to recharge your Freon when it gets low. There are at-home kits for this, but we always recommend having it professionally drained, and recharged annually.
One of the most overlooked parts on your car is the tires, especially during the summer. To maximize tire life, you should check your tire pressure at least once a month, and make sure to check them when they are cold, as the tire pressure after driving will be higher. You should also make sure to have the tires rotated and checked for dryness and cracking at every oil change. Tire protectant can be useful, but make sure to use one that isn’t water based, and that type of protectant can actually pull moisture out of the tires causing it to dry out prematurely.
If you are in the market for tires, make sure to look at OEM options first, as they are deigned exactly for your vehicle. Check out our article here about why tire stores don't want you to look at OEM tires at all.
Finally, excess sun and heat can do damage to your Honda or Acura’s paint. We recommend washing the car every week during the summer, and getting the car waxed once every 6 months in most areas, and every 3 months in warmer, dryer climates. The build-up of dirt, road debris, acid rain, and pollution can eat at the car’s paint, so it’s important to keep the car’s paint clean, waxed, and out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
In the end it takes very little time and money to keep your car running at its best during this time of year, but if you take the time and pay attention to these areas, we have no doubt your Honda or Acura will not only survive this summer, but many more to come.
For more information regarding this article or with any questions you may have on how to keep your Honda running at its peak contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.hondapartsunlimted.com.