Don’t you just love this time of year? Blue skies, abundant sunshine and warmer weather inspires many of us to start planning summer road trips. Wherever you are headed, you want to make sure your vehicle is ready to get you there safely.
Take the time to do some preventative maintenance on your car along with any necessary auto repairs. While it might not be the sexiest way to get ready for summer, making sure your vehicle is in good condition before you hit the road is always a good idea.
We have tried to make it a little easier on you by compiling 6 easy preventative maintenance tips, that will help keep you off the side of the road this summer.
- Get an oil change
Getting an oil change seems so simple, but it really is one of the most important car maintenance items you can perform. Make sure your auto repair shop checks your tires and other assorted fluids as well. If you are on a cross country road trip, you might also want to consider getting another oil change along the way if your mileage tops 3,000.
- Check your engine and cooling system
Your cooling system keeps your engine from overheating – and in our neck of the woods, with excessively high temperatures, it plays a vital role in keeping your engine healthy. You also might want to consider adding in some additives. They can help to protect the radiator and internal engine components against wear and corrosion. Older engine coolant can become contaminated and could lead to some serious engine complications.
- Have your tires checked
When is the last time you checked your tire pressure? Many of the newer cars on the road today, have tire pressure monitors built in. However, if yours doesn’t, it is important to be vigilant about checking your pressure regularly. According to a study done by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, more than half of the vehicles on the road have at least one under-inflated tire and 85 percent of motorists do not even know how to properly inflate their tires! Driving on under-inflated tires not only affects the handling and braking of a vehicle, it also can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high.
- Check your fluids
Your vehicle utilizes many different types of fluids – oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and windshield washer fluid, to name a few. Many of these fluids are key components in your car, and are vital to the integrity of your engine. Brake fluid in particular, is extremely important to check before you hit the road. Degradation of brake fluid can lead to reduced braking performance or, in extreme cases, complete brake failure.
- Check your air conditioning system
A cool passenger is a happy passenger, especially during extra-long road trips in the summer heat. Maintaining a comfortable driving environment also reduces driving fatigue. You also might want to consider changing your A/C filter.
- Be prepared for an emergency
Have an emergency kit in your vehicle which contains such items like water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools, and a first aid kit. For summer weather, we also recommend including a reflective emergency blanket, sunscreen, a hat, a phone charger, a clear plastic bin, tire pressure gauge, duct tape, rags, gloves, and even a tow strap.
Some of these maintenance items are easy DIY type items. There are a few on the list though that could use the expertise of a certified mechanic. So before you set out on your next road adventure, give us a call and let us make sure your vehicle is prepped and ready to roll!