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Get your car ready for Summer!

Everyone says in the winter that you need to "winterize" your car. Sure, it can take the winter can take a toll on your car, but the summertime can be brutal, especially for older cars. And since my family has a 1996 Plymouth Voyager, we are very adamant about taking care of our car in the summer.

1. Check your radiator.
A leaky radiator doesn't have to be a death sentence for your vehicle. If you are unable to get to the mechanic to get it fixed or replace, there are many products available to plug up leaks in your radiator like Stop Leak. But do not rely on these- they are only temporary until you can get to the mechanic. If everything checks out, be sure to keep enough coolant in your radiator to keep your engine cool, or it could overheat. Be sure to keep an extra bottle of coolant and 2 bottles of water in your car, in case it does overheat.

2. Change your air filter.
For a long time, I really didn't know anything about cars but it didn't interest me. But when we were having timing belt issues this past winter, I had to know my way underneath the hood of our van so I could help. That's when Dad taught me about air filters. Believe it or not,  a clogged air filter can really lower your fuel efficiency. Replacing a dirty or clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. If you're not sure if it needs replacing or not, just go ahead and replace it. It's not that expensive.

3. Check tires and brakes.
If you plan on driving a lot this summer, there is nothing more dangerous than faulty brakes and bad tires. Make sure you have enough tread on your tires and that your brakes are in perfect working order.

3. Check under the hood.
We have had our share of cracked belts, bad batteries, and even a belt bell that needed replacing. Since the summer heat can affect all of those things, it's a great idea to routinely check everything that you possibly can. Replace cracked belts immediately. Have your battery tested. (You can get your battery tested for free at AutoZone.). While you're at it, check your windshield wipers to make sure they clear the windshield properly. It's not fun to be stuck in a downpour with bad wipers- I can attest to that!

Now that you're car is in good working order for the summer heat, where would you like to take a road trip to?

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