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The summer heat isn’t just hard on your body; it can also be hard on your car. Mechanics offered some car maintenance tips for the summer to help keep your car, truck, or sport utility vehicle running smoothly.

The first car maintenance tips for the summer include keeping your vehicle out of direct sunlight

Car maintenance tips for summer
Cars parked in a parking lot in the sunshine | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/picture alliance via Getty Images

Heart of Illinois ABC recently reported some summer car care tips with local car mechanics. While the heat can mess with the components inside the car, it can also damage the outside. If you can avoid parking in direct sunlight, it will be better for your paint in the long run. Parking in the shade can also keep your dashboard from cracking and prematurely aging, which is one of summer’s best car maintenance tips.

Once inside the car, many of these electrical components need to be protected from the heat.

“Direct sunlight can cause the battery, circuit boards and other electrical components to heat up and possibly break. In fact, car battery failure is more likely to occur in the summertime heat than the bitter cold of the winter, especially if they’re already failing.”

Heart of Illinois ABC

One piece of equipment that tends to fail in hot weather is the battery. Brett Beachler of Beachler’s Automotive says, “If you took a weak battery, there’s a higher probability that thing’s not going to start in the summer than in the winter.” The high heat can cause the battery to die and leave you stranded if you don’t keep up with the summer car care.

Summer car maintenance tips include frequent tire checks

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Any parts that might be sensitive to heat are even more susceptible to falling in the hot summer months. One of those is rubber, such as your tires. The sun isn’t going to make the tires melt off, but low pressure could cause your tires to be more prone to cracks, punctures, or other failures.

Another car maintenance tip for summer is to keep your tires properly filled. Todd Spencer, a Mid-Illini Automotive Service Manager, says tires wear quicker in the summer because of the heat on the pavement.

Spencer suggests keeping your car, truck, or sport utility vehicle out of the elements as much as possible. The shade is a good idea if you can’t park in a garage. Having your car in direct heat and sunlight can impact the engine and coolant systems after some time.

Keep up with your regular maintenance to catch any issues

If possible, keep up with your regular maintenance. Check your oil levels and keep an eye on your tires. Don’t let your car sit without moving it for extended periods. Keeping your engine in good shape can help prevent more significant issues down the road. It can also help you find a problem before it gets worse.

Keep your engine oil to the recommended amount and check your tires. Stay out of the sun, or use a car cover if you need to. Summer will be over before you know it, and then it will be back to dealing with the snow. So check your tires, park in the shade, and make sure your car has the right amount of oil. Maybe your SUV will be the next one to make it past 200,000 miles.