Family in convertible car driving

Is your car summer-ready?

Get your car ready for summer fun by checking these important items, or have a trusted mechanic or service shop check them for you.

Battery
Look for loose connections, worn cables and corrosion. Test the battery’s output. Learn more here.

Oil
Summer can be tough on an engine, so clean oil and a fresh filter is essential. If you’ll be doing lots of driving in extreme desert heat, let your mechanic know in case a specific oil weight is recommended. Learn more here

Other things under the hood
Inspect belts and hoses for cracks, leaks or loose connections, and replace as necessary. Your vehicle owner’s manual is the great source for maintenance details. Also, search online or use YouTube to see what other owners of your car model have posted about maintenance

Tires
Checking tires is something you should do each time before you drive. Get into the habit of glancing at your tires before even getting into the car. Also, check the tread by looking at your tire’s wear indicators, or using the Lincoln penny trick. And look for cracks or bulges, or uneven wear, and be sure they’re properly inflated with a tire gauge you can keep in your glovebox. Don’t forget to check the spare tire; is it ready, and is the jack in the trunk?

Lights
Test your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, taillights, backup lights, emergency flashers. It’s easiest with another person outside the car checking with you.

Other fluids
Check your power steering, transmission, antifreeze and wiper fluids as necessary

Prepare for your destination
Visiting a locale that gets lots of rain? Install new wiper blades. Headed to the desert? Flush your radiator to get rid of antifreeze residue and help prevent overheating. Going to the mountains? Check your brakes. And be sure your heating and air conditioning are working efficiently for whatever conditions you’re likely to find. Learn more here.

Other important tips for summer road trips

Roadside assistance
Are you a member of an auto club, or does your car manufacturer’s warranty provide roadside assistance? Check to see that the service call number is in your glove box, along with proof and details of coverage. If you’re travelling to a remote area, don’t just rely on GPS or your phone’s mapping app. Pick up a paper map at your local auto club in case you find that cellular service isn’t working.

Emergency kit
Most auto shops have emergency kits ready to keep in your trunk. Basic items should include flares or reflective triangles, flat tire repair items and basic first aid supplies. A flashlight with fresh batteries is a must for your glove box.

Take us with you
Your Marin County Credit Union credit and debit cards can be especially helpful when you’re on the road, and remember that our 30,000 free CO-OP ATMs are available nationwide, so we’re always with you wherever you go.

Have a great summer!