The weather is starting to warm, the snow is almost all thawed, and the ground is starting to dry. It’s a wonderful time of the year to get out and enjoy all that nature has to offer, and hitting the first trails of the season after getting a check up at your local shop for auto repair in Fort Collins. As the first flowers start to poke up out of the soil, and the seasonal breezes pick up, many people are inspired to head out into the wilderness for some off road fun. But don’t forget to take the time out to properly care for your rig before we get too deep into the hot summer months!
Sometimes we forget that our vehicles need to stay properly hydrated, just like we do, and that the drier we feel usually correlates with how dry our trucks are as well. When the hot dry season comes, we need to drink more water and make sure to stay cool, but it can be hard to remember that the same applies to our trusty off road parts. The weather conditions can be hard on our vehicles, whether that be snow, hail, sand, rain, heavy wind, and yes- even the heat. Everything tends to dry out, making mechanics more difficult and costly on the energy front, which means more frequent maintenance is needed on both your new and used 4×4 parts.
Here are the main components that need a little extra hydration during the hot dry months!
This one really is a no-brainer, which is why it’s first on the list. In the spring and summer, we tend to lose more fluid volume every time we hit the trails, as well as losing more to evaporation than we do during the cool months. There are several fluids you can top off yourself at home, including windshield fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant. For things like brake fluid and transmission fluid, head over and trust the professionals for auto repair in Fort Collins and have them do a systems check. This is especially important if you are a regular 4×4 adventurer or do a lot of long trips.
When the climate gets dry, especially if it also brings along wind that flings dust and dirt at your car, your lubricants and oils need more attention than usual. The heat and debris can damage your undercarriage and your off road parts if they are not properly cleaned and greased up. Besides the obvious motor oil, you should keep an eye on all your pistons, axles, and other large metal moving parts and be sure they all have proper lubrication. This will help extend the life of your parts, make your ride smoother, and prevent damage from embedded dirt or sand. Things like bolts, spark plugs, gaskets, and bearings should also be checked periodically and wiped with an automotive safe grease.
If you are one of the millions of drivers that sit on leather seats, then you must remember that these too require extra maintenance for long life. Leather upholstery needs special cleaning solutions, and since it’s a natural product, it expands and contracts with the heat and also loses moisture in the dry season. Dried out upholstery tends to fade and crack, resulting in damage that is nearly impossible to repair and may cost you thousands to replace. Do yourself a favor and clean your leather regularly, and apply extra conditioner and softener in the hot and dry months out of the year. It’s worth taking a few minutes with a microfiber cloth and quality products to maintain that soft, supple, healthy looking upholstery!
Yes, your tires ask a lot of you throughout the year- after all, they are what keeps you afloat in your off road rig and what gives you that important contact with the road. Proper inflation pressure is crucial, but it’s not the only aspect to tire maintenance. Rubber actually loses moisture and flexibility in the dry season, and your tires can become dry, cracked, and rigid if not moisturized regularly. There are several great products on the market today that penetrate deeply into the rubber and keep it hydrated and soft, as well as giving you an attractive sheen, repelling dirt and mud, and prolonging the life of your tires. Ask your favorite pro for auto repair in Fort Collins for their recommendations.
So remember, this spring and summer, when you see the hard dry ground and the waning streams, that your car also is feeling the dehydration. Invest in a few high quality products to keep your leather and tires moisturized, top off your own fluids, and have your mechanic clean and apply grease to the parts that need it most. You’ll be rewarded with a much smoother and safer off road season!