Summer Safety Checklist
A quick check of your Volkswagen before you head out on the road can keep you motoring safely all season long.
Check headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, interior lights and even trailer lights. See and be seen.
Engine Cooling System
When the car is still cool, check the radiator for water and antifreeze. Check the colour of the coolant, too. If it has stuff floating in it, it should be changed. (The more gunk, the more critical it is.)
Check your oil, brake, transmission, power steering and windshield washer fluids—and make a note to check them again every once in a while throughout the summer. Also, while you’re under the hood, check to see if you can spot any leaking fluids.
Belts and Hoses
With the engine off and cool, get under the hood and inspect all belts and hoses to make sure there are no signs of bulges, cracks or cuts in the rubber. The summer heat can be hard on rubber parts, so check them early in the season to see if you can spot early signs of wear. This is also a good time to make sure they’re all securely connected.
Winter is tough on wiper blades. Just like the rubber on belts and hoses, the rubber strip on blades can be easily worn or torn. Check your wiper blades and if you have any doubt about their condition, replace them. It’s an inexpensive fix, and it helpsyou see the road much more clearly.
On a hot summer day, air conditioning is your best friend. It’s also an important safety feature (see above), so be sure to check it’s functioning properly before you reach for the dial on that first hot day.
Floor Mats & Interior
Clean your mats and the inside of the car if salt has built up inside over the winter. Make sure the mats haven’t crept forward under the pedals and secure them properly.
The most important check comes last. Check your tires for proper air pressure, tread wear and any signs of damage. (You get the most accurate reading if you check pressure on cold tires, by the way.) Look to your owner’s manual for proper pressures,or look in the door pillar on the driver’s side for the info. Many tires will have built-in tread wear indicators that let you know when it’s time for new rubber—don’t push it beyond that point. Your tires are critical to your vehicles’ performance and safety. And of course, remember to check your spare, too.
If you’re planning to drive a lot more this summer, check out our helpful tips on staying safe all season.
This article originally appeared in print in Volkswagen Magazine and has been edited and formatted for the web.