It’s time for some summer fun! Maybe you’re getting ready to drive to the lake or the mountains, or a weekend trip to visit with friends or relatives. But, before you hit the road, you need to make sure your car can make the journey.

Here are a few important steps to help protect your car from the summer heat.

  1. Monitor your tire pressure and tread

As temperatures rise, the air in your tires expands, so it’s a good idea to check your tire pressure when your car or truck has been resting for a while. You can usually find the recommended pressure on a label on your door jamb or in your owner’s manual.

“If your tires have too much or too little air, your vehicle won’t handle well – and you might be risking a blowout,” says Phil Sebastian, owner of Eagle Tire and Auto Repair, which serves the Helena and Bozeman areas of Montana.

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And while you’re checking the pressure, be sure to take a look at the tread of your tires (including the spare). Too much wear and tear can also cause blowouts, especially if you hit a pothole or rough terrain. If you’re not sure they can make the journey, consult a professional mechanic like the team at your local Eagle Tire for honest and reliable advice.

  1. Check your fluids

Many drivers ignore this simple task until it’s too late. It’s crucial during the hot summer months to make sure your vehicle is operating with the proper level of antifreeze. Don’t forget to check your windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid and transmission fluid, too.

  1. Change the oil and filters

Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. You don’t want to risk your vehicle’s health and well-being by ignoring the need to change your oil and filter on a regular basis, especially during the summer months. In addition, you should change your air filter at least once a year.

“Oil changes are based on how far you have driven, but you also should consider how much time has passed,” Sebastian says. “Fresh oil is important, especially during the hot summer months.”

  1. Your battery

You put a lot of strain on your battery in the winter, so you should have it tested by an auto expert before the hot weather arrives. Nothing ruins a big trip like a car that won’t start, right?

  1. Air conditioning

Of course, you want your vehicle to stay cool, but you want to be comfortable as well. You should have your AC system checked every year, preferably before you need to use it. If your car is leaking refrigerant, it’s probably best to take it to a mechanic as soon as possible.

  1. Brakes and belts

For safety purposes, you should make sure your brakes are always in tip-top working condition. It’s important as well to have an expert take a look at your belts and make sure they are overly worn. Deteriorated belts risk snapping and leaving you stranded on the side of the road.

Keep your vehicle rolling all summer long with the help of the experts at Eagle Tire and Auto Repair.

Eagle Tire and Auto Repair has been serving the auto needs of Montanans since 1976. They offer a wide range of tire brands as well as experienced and talented mechanics.

To learn more, stop by your nearest Eagle Tire location or visit – no appointment needed! Or, you can call 406-443-5910 in Helena or 406-587-5415 in Bozeman.