Are you taking an extended trip this summer? If so, you are far from being alone. Millions of Americans take to the road between Memorial Day and Labor Day. With the increased traffic, your car may be at risk of overheating. Other problems, including tire failure, transmission problems and coolant issues can crop up. Let’s take a look at the key service tips for summer travel.
Oil and Oil Filter — Change your oil and oil filter per the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you engage in severe driving, that means once every 3,000 miles or every three months, whichever comes first. If you are taking an extended trip, having the oil changed before you leave is best. The oil filter should also be replaced.
Battery — Examine your battery. When was it last replaced? Usually, that information is on top of the battery itself. Battery life is typically three years with some batteries lasting for four or five years. The posts should be clean, free of corrosion and the connections secured.
Lights —All lights should be functioning before you head out. This means checking your headlamps, daytime running lights, front and rear fog lamps, tail lights and brake lights. Although not as critical, working interior lights is important too.
Cooling System — Your car’s air conditioning and coolant system are tied in together. But both should be inspected before you take a trip. The coolant should be fresh or flushed and refilled before you leave. It should be topped off and show no signs of leakage. The air conditioning should blow vigorously and provide cool air.
Windshield Wipers — Not to be overlooked are your windshield wipers. If they have not been changed in six months or are simply cracked or streaking, then replace them before heading out. You don’t want to deal with poor performing wiper blades in a summer maelstrom.
Filters and Such — It isn’t just the motor oil that affects engine performance. Your air filters can do a number of it too. Indeed, if an air filter is clogged, it can affect the engine, causing sputtering, stalling and reduce your fuel economy. It might also be a good time to check the fuel filter and PCV valve before you head out.
Tires — Don’t think for a moment that your tires are in top shape without confirming same. Tire life can be reduced if any tire is bulging, cracking or otherwise showing signs of excessive wear. If the tires are in good condition, you should have them rotated before taking to the road explains Mavis Tire Stores.
Brakes and Suspension System — Great working brakes are essential to ensuring a safe trip. You should have enough padding left and minor problems corrected before you leave. Typically, you can take your car in for a brake inspection and have the suspension system checked too.
Check Your Supplies
Before taking to the road, you should ensure that your emergency supplies are up to date. This may mean assembling a kit, one containing flares, water, bungee cords, flashlights with batteries, duct tape, jumper cables, pliers and other tools, and anything else you might need while on the road if an emergency happens. Its not a bad idea to use auto title loans for a new car.
You might also call your auto club to ensure that you are covered for your trip. Some clubs offer special coverage that will tow you for up to 100 miles. Consider this option if you will be traveling far, including to more remote areas.
So, with your car ready for you big road trip, head out with your GPS updated and your route planned. Its always good to let someone know of your travel plans in case you arrive late or have trouble along the way.