The state of Illinois is a real four season state. The winters here are legendary, with frequent blizzards, dangerous ice storms and subzero temperatures that stretch on for weeks at a time.
The summer season can be just as extreme, and just as difficult, for residents of Illinois. When the summer heat arrives, it does so with a vengeance, erasing thoughts of snow and ice and replacing them with heat and humidity. If you want to make it through the summer heat unscathed, you need to prepare yourself, and your car, for the extreme temperatures to come. Here are some ways to prepare your car engine for the Illinois summer heat.
Check for Coolant Leaks
The hottest day of the year is not the time to find out you have a coolant leak. By that time, it could be too late, and once your engine overheats, the damage may already be done.
If you want to protect your car engine from the summer heat, you need to make sure that there are no coolant leaks. Start by looking at your garage floor or parking spot and checking for leaks that could indicate a loss of coolant. If you do not see any leaks, check your coolant level, topping it off if necessary. Drive your car normally, then check the coolant level again. If it is low, ask your mechanic to check for a small leak – one that could get worse in the summer heat.
Ask About an Oil Change
Oil changes are always important, but they become even more critical during temperature extremes. Your engine oil works extra hard when the weather is very hot or very cold, so ask your mechanic about more frequent oil changes.
You may need to change your oil more frequently in the summer heat, and your vehicle may benefit from a lighter weight oil at this time of year. Not every vehicle will benefit from a lighter weight summer oil, but for many cars the difference offers additional protection.
Watch Your Gauges
If you want to protect your vehicle and its engine from the heat of the Illinois summer, start by getting familiar with your dashboard warning lights and gauges. The temperature gauge in particular is very important, so note its reading and be prepared to pull over if it inches too close to the hot side.
Keeping an eye on your car, changing your oil regularly and checking your coolant level can all protect your vehicle this summer. The Illinois heat is coming, and now is the time to get ready.