We’re in the middle of the rainy season here in Houston, Texas, meaning drivers find themselves commuting in the rain more and more often. When driving in the rain, the last thing you want is a vehicle break down. Not only does it involve being left out in wet conditions, it also can pose a safety threat if other drivers can’t see you pulled over on the side of the road. At Santa Ana Auto Care, we understand that no driver wants to be stranded in the middle of an April shower, so we’ve laid out some seasonal maintenance tips to help keep your car running smoothly:
- Check the Drive Belt
Problems with your car’s drive belt can easily leave you stranded out in the rain if left unaddressed. A broken drive belt can disable your vehicle’s alternator or water pump, causing engine overheating and battery failure. To avoid a costly and stressful situation this rainy season, be sure to check periodically under the hood for issues with the drive belt. If you notice cracks, frays, or feel any brittleness in the rubber, it’s time to visit your local auto repair shop for a replacement to keep your car running smoothly when you need it most.
- Check for Leaks
An unfortunate way to be alerted of a leak in one of your vehicle’s critical systems is by having your car break down during a rain storm. Stay on top of any problems by regularly checking the fluid levels in your car. You can refer to the owner’s manual as a guide to see where the fluid levels should normally be. Another way to check for leaks is by checking the pavement around your car. Black drip stains indicate an oil leak, green, orange, or yellow drip stains signal a coolant leak, and brown or red-hued drip stains mean the transmission or brake fluid is leaking. If you notice signs of a leak, it’s time to visit your local automotive shop.
- Keep Up with Oil Changes
Your engine needs lubrication to work efficiently. If the oil is too old or dirty, it can’t properly lubricate the engine and can result in engine failure. Keeping up with regular oil changes is the easiest way to prevent this problem from occurring. Visit a trusted automobile shop for an oil change to be sure that the right kind of oil is being used for your car and that any potential problems are caught.
- Bring Your Car in For Preventative Maintenance
While you’re keeping up with your oil changes, be sure to keep up with other preventative maintenance tasks as well. Think of preventative maintenance like a checkup at the doctor for your car. Not only does it ensure your car is working efficiently, it also allows auto mechanics to catch any small problems that may eventually lead to big problems and leave you stranded. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for guidelines on when you should bring your car in for preventive maintenance.
- Have Your Battery Tested
Nothing is worse than having to inspect a dead battery when it’s pouring down rain. Avoid this issue by having your battery tested. Many Houston auto shops will be able to quickly test your battery and determine whether a replacement is needed to keep you from being stranded. However, if you know your battery is more than 4 years old, it’s a better to skip the battery test and purchase a new one altogether.
No one wants their vehicle to leave them stranded in the pouring rain. For help keeping your vehicle in top shape during the rainy season, give Santa Ana Auto Care a call at (713) 956-1145. We’re Houston, Texas’s, leading name in auto care.