"Summer-ize" Your Car

A happy car makes for a happy driver.  A car that breaks down, especially this time of year, is sheer misery.

Larry Cockrum of Tyler Ford takes us through what's most susceptible to the summer sun. First, coolant. "Make sure the coolant is bright green, any discoloration means it is time for definitely time for service."

"Inspect the belts or hoses for any sign, or a coolant leak."

If your fan belt gives way in the summer, chances are your car will grind to a halt.  "It can lock up in a matter of minutes,"  he says.

Next, oil should be changed every 3,000 miles... and heat is very tough on a transmission. Check the levels. "Normally you would check it when it's running, pull the dipstick and make sure the color is bright red, not discolored."

But it doesn't end under the hood, the tires must be looked at.  "Always check around the outside of the tread for any cracks that may be appearing. Bald spots or metal treads on the tires."

Heat makes tires softer, more prone to blowouts. Read your owner manual or the tire for the right tire pressure, and check it cold, not after driving. Only then, you'll get the true reading.

"Underinflation, high temperatures, and high speeds can all result in the failure of a tire."

And if you can't do it yourself, make sure a mechanic gives your car a once over very soon. Good maintenance won't just save your car.  It just might save your life.