Summer Auto Care in Lincoln, NE – 2019
There are many misconceptions and little-known facts about car maintenance during the summer. Most people are only worried about their car breaking down in the cold, but being stranded out in the heat can be just as bad. Local experts shared their advice with us to keep your vehicle safe and moving through the summer heat.
When thinking about how you need to protect your car, it’s important to remember that harsh sun rays can damage the exterior, interior, and even the engine.
The exterior of the car receives the most direct rays, which can really do a number on your paint job. The heat from the sun can fade and crack your paint, so it’s important to wash and dry your car about once every two weeks during the summer. Also, remember to give your car a good wax at least twice a year. A good way to test whether or not it’s time for a wax is by splashing a little bit of water on your car. If it doesn’t bead up, it’s probably time to get a new coat.
JetSplash offers a Hot Wax on their wash menu as a part of their $35/month membership package, among other washes like rim cleaner, tire shine, rain repellent, underbody spray, door jambs, and hand-dry finishes. All exterior washes include free vacuum use as well! JetSplash’s $40/month membership package also includes a Mud Blasters wash. This is great for after you take your vehicle on dirt roads or find yourself in a muddy situation after it rains. Car owners need to realize how damaging dirt and mud can be to a vehicle. The underside of your car is particularly vulnerable. Mud and dirt, when left in crevices or corners to dry on your car’s undercarriage, can cause rusting. The summer heat causes the mud to dry even faster, so get to one of JetSplash’s five locations in Lincoln right after taking your car through the dirt. A special add-on that JetSplash also offers is Jet Gloss. This “sud stud” of a wash removes itty-bitty dirt and dust from your car’s surface, making for a noticeably smoother, glossier finish. It’s just a $4 upgrade ($3 for members).
Your vehicle is the second largest investment you’re likely to make. Preserve its value and your safety by having it repaired and maintained professionally. At Tracy’s Collision Center, they can run a Safety Sensor Diagnostic, which is an electronic scan of the sensors in your vehicle. Today’s vehicles are like computers on wheels, they contain hundreds of electronic sensors that work together to make your vehicle run safely and efficiently. When your vehicle’s body is damaged, it can effect sensors all over the vehicle, even outside of the damaged area. If those sensors aren’t scanned and updated, both before AND after the repair, your vehicle’s safety devices may be compromised. Tracy’s includes a Safety Sensor Diagnostic as part of their repair process and do it both before and after the repair to be sure that all potential sensor problems have been identified and addressed.
Tracy’s Collision Center has been in business since 1969. They operate two facilities in the Lincoln area and are dedicated to integrity. According to their team, integrity is the difference between a car that performs like new and one that just looks like it.
There’s nothing worse than leaving the hot air of outside just to get in even hotter air inside your car. When your car sits outside exposed to direct sunlight, its metal shell absorbs the heat and acts as an oven, heating the air inside. The air inside your car on a hot day can heat to 140° F or higher! The surfaces of your car, like your seats, seatbelts, and steering wheel, can heat to over 195° F. Here are a few simple things to protect your car’s dash, seats, and other internal components:
- Use seat and steering wheel covers
- Use a windshield sun protector (they aren’t as scary as they look!)
- Keep your dash clean with a microfiber cloth to make sure dust and dirt don’t cause tiny scratches
- Park in the shade or anywhere that doesn’t have direct sunlight
- If it’s safe to do so, open the windows just a crack to equalize the air pressure and stimulate air flow
- Keep leather seats clean and conditioned
If not properly protected, the sun can cause some major damage to the interior of your car. Sun damage can lead to fading, cracking, or unwanted spots and stains so make sure to use preventative methods whenever you can. One method that isn’t listed above is window tinting.
Tinting windows not only protects your car from sun damage, but it also elevates the safety, privacy, and energy-saving aspects of your car. Window tinting blocks 99% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
At GP Customs, they can install premium SunTek window tint all the way around your whole vehicle for maximum heat rejection and privacy. Their restyling experts also specialize in other services like paint protection film, wheel painting, brake caliper painting, smoking/tinting tail lights, and dechroming.
“With the summer heat here in full force, treat yourself to a cooler car these warm months,” encouraged Robert Peinado, owner of GP Customs. “There is no need to be uncomfortable on your drive to work, home, or even the grocery store. When you have a Tint Job from GP Customs, you can count on your car being a lot cooler when you get into it on these hot days. Window film can cut down on as much as 70% of the heat in your vehicle!”
Under the Hood
The engine and mechanical components of your car are the most vital. Sun beams won’t simply affect there look, they could potentially cause a breakdown.
It’s always important to fill your engine with high quality fluids to ensure the long life of your vehicle. Always follow manufacturer’s instruction in terms of topping off oil and other internal fluids. For gas, go to a reputable station like Phillips 66. Their gas has three times more detergent than the minimum required by the EPA. Detergent in gas is important to prevent carbon deposits which can build up on your engine’s intake valves, on the piston rings, and in the combustion chamber. Deposits can increase emissions and absorb fuel, decreasing gas mileage. Always make sure to get all your fluids from credible companies to avoid larger problems down the road.
In addition, we spoke to Sherri Stock, owner of inMOTION Auto Care, for some tips on how to keep your vehicles in the best condition throughout the heat. Sherri has over 25 years of experience working on automotives under her belt.
“One fact some people often forget is that coolant is equally as important in the summer as the winter,” she said. “It keeps your car from overheating and your engine in good shape. Taking care of small things at your regular appointments will save you so much energy and money in the long run as those tiny issues build to big problems very quickly. For example, do your brake inspections before it causes an issue! Not doing them can not only cause damage to the vehicle, but it can also be a huge risk for you driving.”
inMOTION Auto Care is not only committed to their customers but also to the environment. Their firm commitment to being environmentally friendly drives all the actions in the shop. They pride themselves on recycling as much as possible and hosting a 1,000-square-foot garden behind the shop. Their mechanics will definitely enjoy freshly grown fruits and veggies this summer season!
If you’re in charge of a fleet of vehicles, you know that the maintenance of those vehicles is key to the success of your business. Whether you have an established program with specific service providers or not, it’s imperative that you build relationships with your local service provider to keep your vehicle in the best shape possible. We interviewed some local vehicle service providers for the best tips on how to keep your fleet running as smoothly as possible through the summer heat. According to T.O. Haas Tire & Auto Marketing Manager Fred Knight, attention to detail is the best way to care for a fleet of vehicles. T.O. Haas Tire & Auto offers full-service fleet maintenance to help business owners to keep their vehicles on the road and not losing income during timely repairs.
“The main piece of advice I have for anyone caring for multiple vehicles is to pay strict attention to the regular interval services that you’ll require like oil changes, tire rotations, or fluid flushes. Also, be sure to follow the recommendations made by the manufacturer in regards to caring for your vehicles. Don’t go overboard or you could potentially spend more money than necessary or even damage your vehicle. One last thing,” Fred added, “not paying attention to the condition of your vehicle can make a small, easily fixable problem turn into a costly, time-consuming ordeal that would take one of your fleet off the road.”
Fred also cleared up a common misconception for us: “Most people know that batteries are killed by the cold, but they’re actually damaged more quickly by heat. Don’t get stranded by getting your battery checked by a professional during your normal oil change and tire rotation.”
We also spoke with Kendall Warnock, owner of A1 Automotive, who shared some advice on keeping your fleet of vehicles out on the streets. A1 Automotive has been providing fleet management services for local Lincoln businesses since 2005. They provide reliable and fast diagnostics because when it comes to fleet vehicles, time is money.
“One of the biggest mistakes I see companies make is a lack of time dedication,” Kendall stated. “It’s hard to give up the fleet vehicles because that means downtime, but with this downtime we eliminate any and all safety related issues which means keeping your employees safe while getting the job done. Properly maintained vehicles reduce unscheduled repairs and downtime. Preventative maintenance may include oil changes, tire rotation/inspection, and general vehicle safety checks. One thing I specifically want to highlight is the ol’ check-your-tire-pressure-regularly speech. We hear about the importance of tire pressure all the time, but often times overlook this important aspect of vehicle maintenance. Tire pressure affects vehicle handling, tire wear, and fuel mileage—all contributing to vehicle and driver safety. Also overlooked is the affect of air temperature on tire pressure with the changing seasons. Instill the importance of checking and maintaining tire pressure with your drivers.”
Heated wheels are more at risk for damage from leaks, sharp objects, and slipping. Make sure to check your tire tread to ensure you can safely make it to where you need to be. One easy way to do this is with a penny. Simply insert a penny, upside down, into the groove of the tire. If the tread doesn’t cover the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to head into the shop for some new tires! Also look out for cuts, cracks, or bulges in the sidewall. They’re all red flags that you need new tires pronto.
Even if you utilize preventative strategies, there’s still a chance your car could overheat and/or breakdown. Make sure you know who to call if and when that happens.
LTR Towing has 24/7 availability and are fully insured. They’re locally operated and have been serving Lincoln, Omaha, and the surrounding areas for 23 years. They want to make sure that you are safe and able to get to your preferred auto shop with as little stress and wait time as possible.
From morning commutes to summer road trips, make sure to ensure that your car can stand the heat. Always be sure to do the recommended regular checkups to avoid any major, costly auto issues. Stay cool. Stay safe. Stay moving.