This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerCarCare #CollectiveBias
Every time I drive to the airport, head to some awesome location, or drive into Washington, DC for a cool conference, it’s a reminder of just how different my life is as a publisher and spokesperson. Early last year I was a boring ‘ole government contractor. Now, I’m an entrepreneur that depends heavily on the smaller of our two vehicles for getting back and forth to the airport and conferences, which has become such a huge part of my life lately!
With this somewhat new lifestyle and a lot of upcoming travel for the summer back and forth to the airport, my goal is to get my car ready for summer travel. You may not be making frequent trips to the airport or to conferences but regardless if you’re commuting for lots of summer business travel (like I am) or planning summer vacations and road trips, these tips will help you get your car ready for summer!
Getting Your Car Ready for Summer
Here are my favorite tips on getting your car ready for the summer, whether you’re planning to do a lot of summer traveling for business (like me) or just planning fun road trips!
TIP #1: Get Your Family Involved!
Honestly, I don’t know how helpful my boys were, but did we have fun? Daggonit, we did!
I admit that we don’t get a lot of family time, especially when Mommy is traveling so much. So it’s fun to bring in the kiddos to help clean the car. It also helps them understand that this is part of their responsibilities, too!
Be sure to vacuum the inside, wipe down the console, and wipe down the seats, too!
TIP #2: Use a Pressure Washer
A hose can work well, too, but I always love to pull out my electric pressure washer because it’s more powerful and does a better job of breaking down the dirty. You can even add soap to it. Just make sure you choose the right nozzle for the job.
TIP #3 Keep a Cleaning Caddy in the Car
The easiest way to keep the car clean for the summer is to stay stocked up with cleaning supplies and use a caddy for the trunk. You can easily find a cute bucket at the thrift store or dollar store. Some things you’ll want to include are:
- Microfiber towels (shop the car care aisle; they’re cheaper there!)
- Scrub brush (for the tires)
- Mini broom and dust pan (or a rechargable hand-held vacuum)
- Cotton swabs (for getting into the small cracks)
- Spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water for wiping things down
TIP #4: Keep an Extra Charger in the Car
If your phone is like mine, it stays in the red. I absolutely love social media (add me on Snapchat!) and when I’m out and about, whether I’m on family trips or business trips, I’m always sharing stuff online and using the GPS maps feature. Those things kill my battery! Be sure to have an extra charger in the car!
Most newer cars have USB ports to plug in a charger, but if not, get an adapter for keeping in the car so you can stay charged all summer long.
TIP #5: Notepad and Pen
How many times have you needed paper and a pen while in the car?? I’ll waste time rooting through my purse, only to turn up scraps of pieces of paper and crayons from the kids. LOL. Keep a fresh notepad and pen in the car so it’s there when you to jot down names, numbers, or notes! (Click here for instructions on how to make your own wooden notebook).
TIP #6: Keep a Car Emergency Kit in the Trunk
Some time ago I did a post on how to make the cutest car emergency kit. I also gave you some ideas on what to stock it inside. For the full list of ideas, be sure to read the post and the comments, too! Lots of additional ideas! If something happens while on the road this summer, you’ll at least be prepared with jumper cables, water, snacks, and more!
TIP #7: Change Your Engine Filter
You know how I love do-it-yourself. If there’s something that I can quickly do on my own, why pay someone else to do it? Especially if it can save time and money. This is one step in maintenance that I can handle myself.
Air filters are the engine’s first line of defense and help to improve airflow and prevent dirt and dust from entering and damaging the engine. A clean air filter can increase acceleration, horsepower, and improve overall engine performance.
People drive a lot more for the summertime, so it makes sense to replace prior to your summer travel plans (or every 12,000 miles, but check your car’s manual for their recommendation). Changing your own air filter only takes about five minutes and most newer cars require no tools (or just a screwdriver if you have an older car like mine).
I stopped by Walmart to pick up a FRAM engine air filter for my Honda Accord. You’d think it was more difficult to figure out, but you’d be surprised how easy it was! They have a little screen that you punch in your Make and Model and–BAM!–you find the filter you need.
Watch It In Action!
It literally took me 36 seconds to select the FRAM filter for my 2006 Honda Accord. Doesn’t get any easier than that, my friends!
How to Change Your Engine Filter
Changing your own engine air filter isn’t hard, but can be a little tricky if you’ve got an older car.
My own 2006 Honda Accord, which is 10 years old, required a screwdriver or drill to loosen the screws. (Just don’t drop the screws down into the car!! LOL).
Just pop the hood.
See the big, long tube? It’s always connected to where the air filter goes.
If you’ve got a newer vehicle, like our 2012 Honda Odyssey, you’ll probably get lucky and have the easy-to-pop latches, like these:
When you peel back the housing, you’ll find your air filter under there.
The last step would be to simply to remove the old filter, vacuum up any dirt that’s gotten trapped in there, and then replace the filter with a new one exactly as you had removed the old one (be sure to remember the direction it goes when inserting the new one).
You’ve just saved yourself money by doing it yourself!
Don’t you love DIY??
TIP #8: Check all your other fluids, tires, and belts!
Last but not least, add more windshield washer fluid (look for the BLUE cap under the hood), check the thread on your tires (or head to a tire center for a free check), and inspect your belts to make sure they’re not frayed.
Little Things Make a Big Difference
It’s really not a lot of things you need to do to get your car ready for lots of summer travel, but when you add them up, they make a big difference in how your car functions (and looks!), along with being ready for the unexpected.
And the best part of car maintenance is getting a chance for the kids to play outside and “help”!
Isn’t that what summer is all about?? 😉
And for more info on FRAM engine air filters, check out their website!