Albany- It's mid-May and temperatures are in the mid-eighties. "I like the hot weather. It's a lot better than the cold," says Albany resident Lora Hardin.
The increasing temperatures are leaving many people like Lora anxious for summer. "I'm really ready. I'm ready to go to the beach," says Hardin. She's ready, but is her car? Mechanics say you better make sure. There are a few basics.
"All the hoses, belts, coolant, air in the tires, air conditioning working," says mechanic Andy Miller. Check hoses for bulges or soft spots and check the belts for cracks. Cracks are a sure sign that you need a new one and it's important because most cars only have one. "If you pop that one belt, everything quits, power steering, alternator, water pump, everything," says Miller.
Especially in summer you want to make sure the air conditioning is working properly. "We're looking at pressures, temperatures coming out of the vents. If you're low, of course you can always add in," says Miller.
But you can't always add more air to a flat tire if you're stranded on the road. So check the pressure. Miller says, "Of course, any good checker for your tires is a good tire gauge." Make sure the tread isn't worn out. "Most likely, you want to get the weakest spot, wherever you think is the most shallow and check it on here with a tread checker," says Miller.
Also make sure your coolant is good whether the weather is hot or cold. Mechanics recommend you follow these steps to make sure your car is prepared. "Check everything out. Make sure it's ready to hit the road. If you're going on vacation, you'll feel a lot more comfortable. I promise you," says Miller.
If the weather is promising, some are already on their way. "We took a 12 hour trip not too long ago so I'm hoping to do some more of that this summer," says Hardin.
Mechanics also suggest getting routine things done like getting you're oil changed every 3,000 miles and keeping up with your maintenance schedule. One overlooked thing is changing wiper blades every 6 months. Also, if your engine runs any hotter than usual, get it checked out quickly. It could be a big problem.