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Five fast fixes and tips for a summer-ready car

(BPT) - With summer just around the corner, it’s time to get your car in tip-top shape to withstand hot days and long road trips. Summer driving requires your car to run differently, some adjustments and inspections are important to ensure your vehicle lasts season to season. Follow these five fast fixes and inspections to cruise through the summer and avoid roadside headaches.

Tire care Tires perform differently in different weather conditions, so as the weather changes, it’s important to check tire pressure and tire tread. To check tire tread, see if the built-in "wear bars” are visible. These are narrow strips of rubber across the tires that appear when the tread is worn down to one-sixteenth of an inch. If you can see wear bars, your tires need to be replaced.

Now that you’ve put in the effort to make your tires safe, make them shine. The Tire Shine Coating from Dupli-Color will keep your tires looking like new all season long. It’s easy to apply and features Shine-Lasttechnology. Its formula lasts five times longer than silicone-based tire dressings, so tires will keep their shine through rain and other harsh elements. Simply spray it on your tires and hit the open road in style.

De-winterize your car De-winterizing your car is easy and affordable. First, check all the fluid levels – coolant, transmission, differential, power steering and brake fluid – to make sure there aren't any leaks. It’s also a good idea to change the oil between seasons, as oil gets thick and collects condensation if it sits in the engine all winter.

It's also important to thoroughly clean the undercarriage of your car after a long winter, especially if you live in a snowy climate. To avoid spending extra money on detailing, clean the undercarriage yourself using a basic water hose or high-pressure cleaning system. In just a few minutes, you can ensure your vehicle is ready for the new road conditions and help you avoid any unnecessary issues.

Paint protectionWinter can be tough on a car’s exterior and sunshine will reveal every nick, chip and scratch in your vehicle’s paint. Restoring your ride’s original factory finish takes only minutes with the easy-to-apply Dupli-Color ScratchFix 2 in 1. This innovative touch-up paint product is available in hundreds of Exact-Match colors for domestic and imported vehicles.

Simply use your vehicle’s make, model and year to find your guaranteed matching color code, and use one of the two applicators to fix any scrapes or nicks in no time. With a roller ball tip for precision and a tapered brush for full coverage, ScratchFix 2 in 1 will not only make your car look great, it will also protect the damaged surface from rusting and becoming a big, expensive problem.

Check the AC Your air conditioning system will be working overtime in the summer, so take time to test it to make sure it’s working properly sooner, rather than later. Since the vehicle’s refrigerant is under high pressure and harmful to the atmosphere, it’s best to leave any inspection or maintenance to a qualified professional. Mechanics can easily trap and recycle used refrigerant with the proper tools, and you can drive off with confidence you’ll stay cool all summer.

Inspect hoses and belts The key to comfortable, safe summer driving is keeping the engine cool, and hoses and belts play a huge part in helping your engine run properly. Hoses pump coolant to and from the engine block, and belts run the fan that cools the system further. If the hoses crack or the belts snap, the radiator will quickly overheat, leaving you stranded. Check hoses for cracks, leaks and loose connections. Hoses should be firm, never soft and malleable, and belts can be visually checked for damage. If anything is noticeably wrong, get it fixed immediately, before you’re stranded in the summer heat.

Vehicles need updating and maintenance through the changing of the seasons, but a few easy steps can prevent a summer of unexpected issues and repairs. Start now on these preventative maintenance tips and you’ll be cruising smoothly all season long.

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