Keep cool-Overheating is the leading cause of preventable breakdowns. If your antifreeze is over a couple of years old, play it safe and replace it. Consider adding a coolant such as Purple Ice to your radiator. It's been shown to reduce engine temperature 30°F or more, and is commonly used to help cool hot racing engines. It also helps condition seals to prevent leaks.
Upgrade your oil-Another way to reduce engine heat is to upgrade to high-performance synthetic motor oil. Synthetic motor oils disperse heat faster and have a lower coefficient of friction than mineral-based motor oils; this helps reduce engine heat. For instance, high-performance synthetic motor oil by Royal Purple has been shown to decrease engine temperatures up to 12 percent while improving horsepower and fuel economy.
Inspect belts and hoses-After checking and adding fluids, check the belts and hoses. A worn or loose belt can cause the engine to overheat. A cracked belt or a hose that's unusually soft or overly hard needs to be replaced. Make sure hose clamps are tight and check the ends for cracks or corrosion. Because extreme heat can cause leaks and other damage, keep an eye out for hard, blistered or spongy hoses. If any of these signs are present, replace the hoses immediately.
Clean battery terminals, hinges and latches-Battery terminals should be cleaned, tightened and lubricated. Clean and lubricate hinges and the hood latch. Make sure the battery terminals and hold-downs are tight. If you see white residue on the battery terminals, clean it with a mixture of baking soda and water, and put on a set of battery washers to fight corrosion. Top any low battery cells with distilled water.
Keep tires properly in-flated-Inspect your tires, including the spare. Refer to the sidewalls for the proper pressure level. Properly inflated tires increase gas mileage, lengthen tire life and are much less susceptible to blowouts.
Properly preparing your car for summer doesn't require a lot of time or technical expertise. More information is available at Royal Purple Ltd., One Royal Purple Lane, Porter, Texas 77365, (281) 354-8600 or www.royalpurple.com.