Driving is one of the more stressful things we can do. But sometimes our lives would be more stressful without transportation. Luckily, there’s a kind of zen to automobile care that allows us to achieve balance. Here’s how warm weather affects your car and attitude, and how maintaining your vehicle can mean maintaining yourself by extension.
Warm Weather, Potential Car Issues
While winter is a tough time for cars, summer comes with its own challenges and hazards. The thought of soaring down the highway without a care in the world is tempting, but when the thermometer rises, you should take time to ensure your car is staying cool, which by can help you stay metaphorically cool as well. For your first step, don’t overtax your engine in hot weather. Hitting the gas and driving for prolonged periods of time is putting more stress on both you and the car. As you burn gas and oil, you’re also burning away time, goodwill, and natural resources. Reduce your trips, as well as your speed, and make the journey rather than the destination be the story. Read slowly!
Zen and the Art of Car Maintenance
Despite the hard lines and unnatural aspects of motor vehicles, taking care of them can be a calming and meditative experience. Prepare your car for warmer weather by ensuring all the fluids—oil, transmission, wiper, brake, differential, and others—are clean, clear, and topped off. Oil is especially affected by high temperatures, and the better maintained your vehicle is, the less oil and gas it burns. Inspect your tires regularly, making sure the treads aren’t worn and tread and sides aren’t damaged or punctured. Take the time to check the tire pressure and keep them inflated to the appropriate PSI, which can be found on the sticker inside the driver’s side door. Get to know your car’s engine. As a hobby, car repair can serve to focus your energies, save money, and help you attain a sense of well-being, safety, and accomplishment.
Points of Pressure
When the sun beats down and you’re on the road, you need to focus on the performance of several parts and pieces of equipment in your car. Your car’s battery is working extra hard—not just powering the air conditioning, but also the fans, windows, and other powered parts. Hot weather almost makes it more difficult for the battery to hold a charge. Have your battery inspected and replaced if necessary—they usually have a life of four to five years. Have your coolant level tested and your radiator inspected for leaks, since overheating can put extra stress on your engine. Listen to and feel the quality of your AC and see if it needs an inspection. You should also go easy on the AC when you can by rolling down the windows and letting nature cool things down. Above all, after learning how warm weather affects your car and attitude, take it easy and get where you’re going with less stress on both you and your car.