So, you are getting everything ready for that summer trip – packing the cooler, snacks for the road, making reservations to make that trip flow smoothly and enjoyably. Don’t forget to prepare your vehicle before you leave – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially if you are stranded on the side of the road in the heat, with a few unhappy children (or spouse)! Don’t ignore any engine lights or maintenance required lights that might be on your dash –have them checked before you leave. A few other important items to check before you leave on that happy road trip:
Be sure your regular maintenance is up to date! When was your oil changed last? If you will be over the recommended 5000 miles between oil changes during your trip, it is worth the time to have your oil changed prior to leaving your driveway. Changing your oil on a regular basis is your best insurance for maintaining consistent engine temperature, while preventing problems associated with excessive heat.
Tire Inspection and/or Rotation: Putting more miles on your vehicle than you usually do will put additional wear and tear on your tires. Having the correct tire pressure will insure your tires will wear as evenly as possible. If you notice uneven tire wear, you need to rotate your tires and have your alignment checked. If new tires are indicated, take care of that prior to hitting the road. A blown tire at highway speeds is dangerous for you and other drivers.
Inspect Your Brakes: Stopping becomes very important, especially when it doesn’t happen as quickly you would like. Have your brake pads inspected, and be sure they are replaced if necessary. If the pads become too worn, metal on metal damage to the rotors can become much more expensive. Be especially aware when you apply your brakes – are you hearing any squealing or grinding, or do you feel any vibration or shudder? Those are signs that your brakes need attention.
Check your Fluid Levels (brake fluid, coolant, washer fluid, engine oil, power steering fluid, transaxle and differential oils): Keep an eye under your car (where you park) for any leaking fluids, and have your fluids checked for adequate level and condition – cloudy, dirty fluids are not as effective in doing their job and they cause accelerated wear on components that they were designed to protect.
Stay ahead of the maintenance game by having your car serviced by your favorite Honest Accurate Auto Servicetechnician. Courtesy inspections made during your regularly scheduled oil service will help to keep your overall vehicle ownership costs to a minimum, while insuring your safety and your vehicle’s reliability.