Before the summer begins, you should take a few moments to prepare your Nissan for the change in seasons. Below we list five pieces of advice that will keep your Nissan functional and healthy during the summer weather.
Remove the snow tires from your Nissan if you live in an area that gets snow. If you leave your snow tires on during the warmer months, you’ll wear them out by exposing them to dry surfaces. Also, be sure to check the tire pressure of the tires that replace the snow tires. Properly inflated tires will provide the ideal contact between the tire rubber and the pavement. Check your owner’s manual to determine what the proper PSI level is. Keep in mind that tires inflated to optimal levels will also provide the best possible fuel economy.
Since you use your brakes a lot during the winter, you should take a look at the quality of your brake pads before the summer season starts. Look for cracks, discoloration, crumbling and general wear and tear. Be sure to also take a look at the brake drums and rotors as well to make sure that they are not cracked.
Don’t neglect your Nissan’s brake fluid either. Brakes need fresh fluid to function. You’ll see your Nissan’s brake fluid in the translucent tank toward the windshield area. Fill it to the “full” line unless it is dark in color. If dark, bring it to a mechanic who can flush it and re-fill the entire reservoir. If you attempt to do the job yourself, be aware that brake fluid is poisonous and loses its impact as it ages. So don’t use a bottle that has been opened in the distant past.
After the winter’s end, pull your Nissan’s dipstick out and take a look at its color and level. If it is dark black and has grime in it, you’ll need to replace the oil. If it is honey or amber colored and hits the designated fill mark, you won’t have to replace it. As a general rule of thumb, car oil should be changed every 4,000 to 7,000 miles. If you fail to replace your oil within a reasonable amount of time or miles traveled, it can become so thick that it prevents the engine’s pistons from moving through the cylinders. The result can be a non-operable engine with internal parts that meld together as they weren’t properly lubricated.
Take a look at your Nissan’s coolant level. The radiator’s tank should be filled to maximum capacity. Use a coolant tester to determine if the ethylene glycol to water ratio is acceptable. Coolant should be changed at least one time every year and preferably before the hot summer temperatures arrive.
Automatic Transmission Fluid
Since most automobile owners drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission, they should periodically check the automatic transmission fluid. It should always be at the recommended level and its hue should be a bright red. Don’t overfill the fluid, as doing so can cause over-pressurization that results in gear slips and coarse shifting. On the flip side, your Nissan’s torque converter can burn if you don’t have enough automatic transmission fluid. Always use a fluid with the recommended ATF mix as instructed by the SAE number in your Nissan owner’s manual. Anyone who drives a manual transmission can also check his vehicle’s fluid by jacking the vehicle up, removing the vehicle’s fill plug and seeing if the transmission fluid hits the lower part of the plug hole.