This is the time of year everyone gets excited about going on a road trip to visit family, head for the beach or theme park, or take in some historic sites.
If your trip will be of any great distance you don’t want it interrupted by having car trouble along the way. This will not only ruin your day, but also take a bite out of your vacation budget.
Prepping Your Vehicle for Your Summer Road Trip
Before heading out on your long awaited vacation trip, we suggest having some basic maintenance performed on your vehicle.
Check Engine Oil
If your next oil and filter change is coming up, now is the time to do it. A long trip will place additional wear and tear on your vehicle.
Check Fluids in Vehicle
Check the various fluid levels in your car and make sure they are all topped off, including the oil, coolant, windshield washer solvent, and brake, power steering and transmission fluids.
Check Air Pressure in Tires
Proper air pressure in your tires can affect your vehicle’s handling, gas mileage and safety. When adding air to a tire do not exceed the psi value shown on the side of the tire. Too much air can cause a tire to blowout, while a tire with low tire pressure can reduce gas mileage and make the car harder to steer.
Check Tire Wear
Use a tread gauge to determine the depth of the tread on your vehicle. If the gauge shows less than 2/32”, it is time to replace those tires. Worn out tires may blow on longer trips potentially causing serious accidents.
Check the Air Filter
Replace dirty and worn out engine air filters. This will improve the car’s performance and fuel efficiency. Also, do not forget to inspect the cabin air filter. On a long trip you’ll want the air entering your vehicle as fresh as possible.
Check Vehicle Lights and Signals
It is important to make sure all of your vehicle’s lights and signals are working properly. Have someone walk around the vehicle and check all headlights, parking lights, brake and back up lights, and turn signals. Replace any that don’t work and carrying a spare or two never hurt.
Check the Battery
If the sound of your starter is sluggish it may indicate corrosion on your battery posts or a dying battery. If your battery is over 2 years old you can have the cranking power of the battery checked. If it is low you’ll want to replace the battery before leaving on your trip.
Check that all Auto Emergency Equipment is Available
Emergency equipment includes a spare tire, tire jack, jumper cables, flashlight, reflective warning signs, duct tape and a gallon container of water. Make sure your cell phone is charged, and if you’ve never changed a flat tire, practice doing this before hitting the road.
Beck’s Auto Center Multi Point Check
If you don’t want to do these various pre-trip checks yourself, bring your vehicle to Beck’s Auto Center and along with an oil change, we will do our multi point inspection that includes all the items noted above.