If you’re getting ready for that summer road trip, you’ve probably got more than a few things on your to-do list. From packing everything you need to stocking up on those road trip snacks, there’s a lot of details to manage. One thing that should not be overlooked as you prepare for your road trip is your car. There are at least a few things to check that will ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip.
Check your battery
Before you hit the road, it’s always a good idea to check your battery for any corrosion and to ensure that your connections are tight. Corrosive acid can leak if your battery connections are forced off, so if you’re not familiar with cleaning your battery, we recommend asking a mechanic to take a look.
Belts & Hoses
Your belts and hoses are critical to keeping your electrical system, power steering, and cooling system functioning properly. Have your belts inspected for fraying or cracking. When it comes to your hoses you want to check for leaks and drips. Left unattended, a broken belt of hose can cause a breakdown and leave you waiting for a tow.
Lights & Electrical Equipment
It’s always a good idea to check your lights before heading out. After you finish checking your interior lights, plan on inspecting your headlights, turn signals, and tail lights. Plan on replacing any burned out bulbs.
Windshield Wipers for your Road Trip
Did you know your windshield wipers should be replaced every 6 months? If it’s been a while, you’ll want to get new blades to keep your visibility clear in case you run into any summer rain storms. While you’re thinking about it, check your windshield washer fluid levels and fill her up.
Checking your air conditioner before the dog days of summer is another maintenance check you won’t want to miss. If your air is not blowing cold air like it used to, your mechanic can do an AC system check. You’ll also want to replace your cabin air filter which keeps allergens, mold, and other pollutants from getting inside your car.
Road Trip and Checking the Brake Pads
To ensure your family’s safety, it’s a good idea to have your brake pads inspected before you hit the road. Signs your brake pads need attention include: squealing noises while braking, a spongy brake pedal, pulling to one side while braking, and a shaking brake pedal. If you notice any of these signs, be sure to have your mechanic inspect your brakes before hitting the road.
Improperly inflated tires can create stress for your engine, will add unnecessary wear & tear on your brakes, and can cause uneven tire wear. Poorly inflated tires are susceptible to blow outs and decreased fuel economy so be sure to check your air pressure before leaving.
While you’re down there checking air pressure, it’s a good idea to think about having your tires rotated. If you have a front or rear wheel drive vehicle, your tires can wear more quickly. Rotating your tires promotes even wear and greater safety for all your passengers.
Top Your Fluids
Before heading out, checking on your fluid levels can give you peace of mind when on the road. Start with having an oil change so you’re good to go for a long trip. After that, you’ll want to check that your transmission, power steering, and brake fluid are filled to the proper levels.
Checking these maintenance items before you hit the road can ensure a fun and smooth road trip. If you need a mechanic to inspect any of these items, then give us a call — our team is ready to get your car road trip ready in no time.