Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so you’ve probably started thinking about travel plans for yourself or your family. With COVID-19 concerns, lots of folks are opting to steer clear of airports. Since we anticipate a rise in car travel this year, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to prepare your car for a long road trip.
1. Check the battery
One of the most important parts to check before you leave is the battery. It should be connected securely and show no signs of corrosion. Batteries usually last for around 3 to 5 years. If your battery is more than 2 years old, then you should be getting it inspected once a year.
2. Inspect your tires
Don’t forget to inspect your tires before taking off on a long car trip. Air pressure is especially important to check. Overinflated tires can affect your ride quality, and underinflated tires will make you waste gas. Check your air pressure before leaving and again for every 1,000 miles you travel. Having the wrong air pressure will end up reducing the life span of your tires, so it’s best to keep an eye on this.
In addition to checking the air pressure, your tires need to be rotated. Getting them rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles helps extend their lifespan. Tires usually last anywhere between 25,000 to 50,000 miles. If you think your tires are somewhere in this range, you might think about replacing them before leaving for a long trip.
3. Check the electrical
Inspect all electrical, including the blinkers, headlights, and taillights. If you have a truck or motorhome, make sure everything is functioning properly here, too.
4. Listen to the brakes
You should always get your brakes inspected if you hear them making strange noises. Oftentimes, a squealing noise means your brake pads need replacing. Brake pads provide the friction that’s needed to stop your vehicle. These eventually need to be replaced because they wear out. They usually last anywhere from 25,000 to 70,000 miles. Since brakes are the most important safety feature of your car, you want to make sure they’re in top condition before any long-distance travel.
5. Fluids and filters
If you’re not keeping up with your oil changes, you should probably get this done before your trip. In addition, top off any fluids that are running low. You’ll want to take a look at the following: transmission fluid, windshield fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and antifreeze.
The air filters in your car’s engine and cabin need to be switched out annually. These filters affect air quality, engine performance, and fuel economy. If your filters haven’t been replaced within the year, then it’s not a bad idea to get this done before leaving.
6. Inspect the belts and hoses
Open the hood of your car to examine your hoses and belts. The belts should be taut, without much give to them. If they seem loose, then you have a problem. Take a look at your hoses and check for any cracks or fraying. Also, keep your eyes open for fluid leaks. Any of these issues need maintenance before you leave for the holiday.
The day before Thanksgiving is known as one of the most hectic days to travel. Making sure your car is in top condition before you leave can help prevent the unexpected.
Does your car need an inspection before your holiday travel plans? It’s not too late. Our experienced technicians at Bonfe’s are here to help. Give us a call at (651) 222-4458 to schedule your appointment today.