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Car maintenance is tough for any type of driver, because it’s so easy to put it off or forget what you have to do. However, the more you can stay on top of car maintenance, the better, because you’ll avoid serious and expensive problems down the road. During the summer, drivers often deal with issues like hot, uncomfortable cars; over-heating; and low-performance following a difficult winter. Here are six tips for getting your car summer-ready.

1. Windshield Wipers

Your wipers had a lot to do during the wintertime to clear off all that snow and ice. Replacing them at the start of the summer is a good idea so that you can keep your windshield clear when it rains. If you don’t want to change them yourself, ask if your dealership or oil change place will do it for you.

2. Coolant

Cars have to stay cool during the summertime, which is why you need to make sure your coolant system is working perfectly. Your first step is to check how much coolant is left in your car. Then, make sure that the coolant reservoir and hoses aren’t worn down or damaged. Make sure that there aren’t leaks at the connection points. Also, when the coolant system’s cooled down, squeeze the hoses to see if they’re firm – if they’re very soft, you should go to a mechanic.

3. Air Conditioner

The last thing you want to deal with when it’s hot and humid out is a broken or low-functioning AC system. If you can’t seem to keep the right amount of refrigerant in the AC system, it could mean there’s a leak. Before you get the entire system recharged, which could be pricey, have the car inspected for leaks and have the leaks professionally sealed.

4. Essential Fluids

At the start of the summer, check the car’s essential fluids, like the brake fluid, power-steering fluid, windshield cleaner, and oil. It’s easy to put this off during the wintertime, since it’s cold and you want to spend as little time outside as possible. This type of maintenance can be done at any point during the year, but if you’re going to be using your car a lot during the summer, it’s an ideal time to make sure everything’s in good working condition.

5. Shade for the Dashboard

In order to keep your car cool when you’re not inside with the AC pumping, put a sunshade in the dashboard when you’re not inside it during the day. If you often have passengers, especially children, consider installing sunshades for the back and side windows. There are shades that can stay down even while you’re driving without impacting visibility. Putting up sunshades also keeps the interior from fading.

6. Exterior Cleanings

When the glass or paint of your car is dirty, strong sunlight can cause damage. Grime can easily build up if you don’t commit to regular car washes. By keeping the exterior of your car clean, you’ll protect it from damage from the sun, bugs and birds (and there’s more of all three things during the summertime). It’s also a good idea to have your car waxed at the start of the summer to get you through the season.

By making a point to care for your car at the beginning of every summer, you’ll stay on top of necessary maintenance without the struggle of trying to remember what to do the rest of the year.