Beat the Heat – Summer Fleet Maintenance

Property & Casualty, Risk

Summer is a peak season for many businesses. With increased demand and heightened activity, your fleet of vehicles will be busier than ever. However, the summer heat can impact vehicle efficiency and safety, which is why it’s essential to prioritize fleet maintenance to prepare for the warmer months.

Rising temperatures can cause unexpected issues in your vehicles, from the cooling system to electrical components. By performing preventive maintenance before the peak summer heat, you can ensure your fleet operates smoothly, minimizing downtime and potential claims. Before your next trip, consider these critical fleet maintenance tips to keep your business running efficiently and your vehicles in top condition.

Air Filters

No matter the type of vehicles in your fleet, air filters are crucial for performance and driver comfort. Regularly changing both cabin and engine air filters is essential, especially in summer. Cabin air filters can accumulate moisture over winter, causing mildew and contaminants in the AC. Engine air filters can become clogged with summer road debris and poor air quality. Replacing both ensures drivers stay cool without allergens and keeps engines running smoothly even in dusty conditions.

Cooling System

Arguably the most important fleet maintenance you should be doing to prepare for summer is a thorough cooling system check. Fleet vehicles constantly stopping, starting, and idling can strain the cooling system, increasing the risk of overheating in high temperatures. Including cooling system checks in your fleet maintenance routine can prevent damage like warping and increased engine friction. Ensure all hoses, clamps, and connections are tight and leak-free. A complete coolant flush may be necessary to remove contaminants and keep the system flowing. Always top off fluids and check coolant levels more frequently in summer to keep your vehicles running smoothly and avoid breakdowns.


Tires on fleet vehicles can see more wear and tear than other vehicles on the road. Regularly checking tire pressure is essential year-round, but lowering the PSI in summer can prevent serious damage. As temperatures rise, tire pressure increases, leading to over inflation, premature wear, and potential blowouts. Adjusting tire pressure during summer maintenance ensures your tires last longer and keeps drivers safe on the road.

Electronic Evaluation

Electrical components are sensitive to heat, making their upkeep a critical part of routine fleet maintenance. This includes checking the batteries to ensure they’re functioning correctly and providing the right voltage, crucial for their longevity and performance. While higher temperatures can slightly boost battery capacity, they also shorten lifespan and cause internal corrosion above 80 degrees, reducing voltage output. In summer, when drivers rely on electric accessories like air conditioning, testing, and replacing underperforming batteries is crucial to prevent breakdowns and service interruptions.

Wiper Blades

As summer approaches, it’s the perfect time to inspect and service your fleet vehicle wiper blades. The harsh winter months, with their accumulations of ice and increased usage, can lead to significant deterioration over time. To ensure optimal performance, make sure your wiper blades can effectively remove debris and do not pose a visibility hazard while in use. Keeping your fleet safe and ready for those summer showers is essential!

Vehicle Lighting System

Ensure vehicle lights are in working order. Take the time to do an out-of-the-vehicle inspection to ensure proper use. Test all visibility, indicating, and hazard lights to ensure they are in proper working order.

Develop a Safety Plan

A tailored fleet safety program is crucial for safeguarding both your employees and your company. While a generic safety program is better than nothing, designing a program specific to your fleet and company is far more effective.

This program sets policies and procedures to create a safe work environment and mitigate liability from vehicle accidents. Given the unpredictability of accidents, especially on the road, implementing a formal and continuous program of screening, testing, inspection, and training is essential.

Key Takeaways:

Maintaining your fleet is crucial year-round, but summer brings its own set of challenges. Prioritizing driver safety and comfort during warmer weather is key to keeping your business competitive. By investing in comprehensive training and proactive maintenance, you ensure top-notch service for your customers, regardless of the heat.

Please reach out to your M3 risk manager with any questions you may have about managing your fleet.


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