Category Archives: Caring for your vehicle.

summer car troubles

Common Summer Car Troubles- and how to prevent them.

The Summertime season provides ideal weather for road trips, drive-ins and, unfortunately, car trouble. Why? Extreme heat can take a toll on your car’s most important systems. So, if your summer calendar is filled with travel and trips to the beach, we’re here to help you seize the summer safely.

Making sure you’re a little extra prepared this season can go a long way to protect your vehicle, yourself and your loved ones this summer. Read on as we outline the most common summer car troubles and how to prevent them.

Air Conditioning

Summer heat pairs well with air conditioning, and it might be hard to detect issues during the fall, winter and spring when it’s not in use. When higher temperatures hit, you’ll want a working AC system in your car. Turn on your air conditioning from time to time during the off season to keep it in working order, or at least make sure you test it ahead of the summer season.

If you’re getting hot air when you turn your air conditioning on, a simple fix may be a refrigerant (Freon) charge. Adding refrigerant to your car can give your AC system a boost. If that doesn’t do the trick, a car mechanic should be able to diagnose and treat the problem.

Damaged Interior

The heat of the summer means extreme heat inside your vehicle. These hot temperatures can melt plastics, food and any other garbage that’s left inside your car. To prevent damage to the internal surfaces (and expensive repairs) clean your car, and keep it clean- if you have a sunroof- keep your sunshade closed to shade and prevent more heat on the interior.

Check out our post for the best mess-free road trip snacks for some tips to help you reduce extra drive thru garbage.

Paint Damage

The sun’s rays could damage the exterior and paint of your car (especially if your car has any debris or spills on it) which could be costly to fix- and cause premature rust during wetter seasons or if you’re close to the ocean. Extreme heat could also heat up the interior of your car, like the steering wheel and leather seats, making it difficult to drive. On hot days, try to park your car in the shade whenever possible. Parking your car in a shaded spot not only keeps you cool, but can keep your car cool and prolong its life.

Having window shades, and closing the sunroof in your car is a good idea in case you are unable to park your car in the shade. These shades will block out UV heat, keep the interior of your car from getting hot, and protect from any other damaging effects of the sun.

Worn Wiper Blades

Being able to see is an essential requirement while you’re behind the wheel. In summer, dust and pollen particles, insects or even the sun’s glare can impair your ability to clearly see out of your windshield. Make sure to top up your wiper fluid and check your windshield wipers’ effectiveness to remove anything that could minimize visibility. It’s a good idea to check or replace your windshield wipers at the end of each season.

Additionally, make sure pollen and other particles aren’t covering your light beams. A quick polish or even a wipe down can make a huge difference.

Dirty Air Filters

Your car’s air filters have a very important role, especially in the summer. They keep pollutants from coming in through the vents — which is critical during warmer months because of the high pollen counts and smoke from the forest fires we’re no stranger to in BC.

Not to mention, using an old filter can lead to problems with your air conditioning system.
It’s best to change your air filter every 12 months or 20,000 kilometers, or according to your manufacturer’s recommendations so you can breathe easy- literally, and because you know your Air Conditioning isn’t in danger.

Tire Troubles

Changing temperatures affect your tires in a few ways. First, it’s important to make sure your tires are appropriate for the weather by changing out of your winter tires. Hot weather can also evaporate some of the air in your tires and cause low tire pressure- which causes premature wear and even accident-causing tire blowouts.
Make sure to check your tire pressure and top it up when necessary as that can help your tires last longer and prevent flats, and blowouts.

Engine Overheating

Much like you can overheat in the summer and get heat stroke- you vehicle- and it’s engine can overheat. Just as staying hydrated can help you prevent overheating- making sure your vehicle’s fluids (especially coolant) are topped up can prevent it from overheating.

Once you’ve ensured your vehicle has enough fluids- keep an eye on the temperature via the temperature gauge- if the needle starts to indicate high levels- pull over and wait for the engine to cool down before you continue your drive.

Overheating is a serious issue- so make sure to contact your regular repair shop right away to diagnose and fix the problem.

Get a Summer Ready Vehicle from VIDrives.

Whether you like the beach, camping, hiking, or just long summer drives and road trips- VIDrives wants to help you enjoy your summertime activities without stress about getting stuck in the stranded or broken down. That’s why all of our vehicles are inspected and safe, plus- we work with any budget to make sure you have enough left over to pay for fuel and enjoy your summer!

Get Pre-Approved

How to make your brake pads last longer.

Replacing your brake pads is something that you’re most likely going to have to do if you own a car for over four years. Brakes pads aren’t cheap to replace so if you can get an extra year or two out of them before needing to replace them, you should try. Here are a few tips that may help you do just that!

Don’t “two foot” your pedals

If you tend to tap your brake pedal with your left foot while still keeping your right foot on the accelerator, this is a bad habit. It leads to more “brake taps” which don’t’ really do anything to stop your car, and cause premature wear.

Slow your speed

When it comes to braking, full and complete stops from a high speed are absolutely the #1 cause of premature brake pad wear. Speed causes wear on brake pads exponentially – that is, coming to a full stop from 105 kph rather than 85 kph forces the brakes to dissipate 33% more energy.

Coast when you can

Consider paying more attention to the flow of traffic, and stopped or slowed-down cars that are ahead of you, and coast whenever you can to lower your speed – as opposed to braking.

Hills are a great example of this. If you’re riding your brakes down a hill, this can wear them out very quickly. Instead- don’t accelerate at all and lightly tap the brakes when necessary

Don’t hurry to stop

This advice will help you save on gas, as well as on brake wear and tear. Is there a red light or a stop sign coming up? Start coasting and slowing down!

There is absolutely no reason to step on the gas and “hurry up to stop” when the cars ahead of you are clearly not moving. All you’ll do is waste fuel – and when you do have to stop, you’ll put excessive wear and tear on your brake pads.

Consider a Brake Service

A brake service can extend the life of your brakes and save you money over time.

Have your regular mechanic inspect your brake fluid, and flush if necessary. Many shops offer a service to remove the wheels and disassemble the brakes and clean and lubricate all components- preventing just and excessive wear and tear.