We’re already close to being halfway through the year, which means most people are preparing for the impacts of the hot summer season. For fleet managers, that means there is a lot of work to be done before you can finish checking off your seasonal to-do list. The change in seasons brings a lot of consumer demand for rental fleets, while trucking and delivery fleets continue to stay focused on quick shipping times.
With the hottest days of the year ahead of us, have you made sure to prepare your fleet for the heat? Let’s start by running through a checklist of priorities.
1. Air Conditioning
Regardless which kind of fleet you’re managing, it likely goes without saying how crucial the quality of each vehicle’s air conditioning system is. Rental car customers and delivery drivers alike depend on keeping cool throughout the summer. Being proactive by having each system inspected may seem tedious, but it’ll save you stress when one or more of them fail in the middle of a sweltering day in July or August.
When you ensure that your fleet’s air conditioning systems are in top shape, you also have the recommended option to replace the cabin air filter. This greatly improves the flow of air through the system by removing captured pollutants, which can improve engine performance. It’s recommended that cabin air filters are replaced every 12 months or 12,000 miles.
2. Cooling System
Similar to the air conditioning system, the cooling system in each vehicle should be vital to your summertime fleet preparations. The grueling heat can easily lead an engine to breakdown, especially without flushing and refilling the coolant every 24 months. If you already make sure to maintain your cooling system at regular intervals, then simply check coolant levels each month to ensure the longevity of that maintenance. Belts and hoses in the cooling system can crack or leak, respectively, and you never know when you could catch one as it forms.
3. Tire Pressure
Another problem area for any kind of vehicle in the summer is tire pressure. Hotter temperatures lead to an increase in pressure, roughly 1 or 2 psi for every 10 degrees. As a result, tires are much more prone to blowouts in the summer - especially when they go unchecked! The best practice for preventing tire blowouts is to have a monthly check-up with each vehicle in your fleet. This should include:
- Checking tire pressure when the vehicle isn’t in use.
- Rotating your tires every 5,000 miles.
- Noting tire tread depth. The Penny Test is an easy way to do so!
Car batteries can be tougher to diagnose, since they can die at any point in the year. Average batteries last for at least 3-4 years, but there’s a notable disparity in lifespan when it comes to location. Batteries can often last longer in northern regions than in the south, due to the greater strain of high temperatures vs colder climates. Fortunately, you can plan ahead by installing batteries recommended for your climate. By being informed and up-to-date with your fleet’s maintenance, you can avoid leaving a customer or driver stranded on the side of the road.
5. Oil Changes
Have you reflected on your fleet’s oil change strategy recently? While it might seem like a silly proposition, there isn’t a more important time to stay on top of a vehicle’s oil than the summer months. As always, be sure to change your oil according to your preventative maintenance requirements. Your specific interval might be different than the one in your personal vehicle, as it depends on how the vehicles in your fleet are utilized. Keep the oil filters and transmission fluid of your fleet in the back of your mind as well; you never know when they can be the specific factor that keeps one of your vehicles off the road.
With so many different aspects of your fleet to prioritize, you don’t have to manage it all alone. Choosing Spiffy as your fleet maintenance service solution can maximize your budget and minimize downtime with on-site car washes, oil changes, and an array of other services. Learn more about how our Technicians can lift the weight of preventative maintenance off your shoulders today!
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Posted in Fleet