Car Maintenance Musts: Get Yours Ready for a Road Trip
Your bags are packed.
The cooler is chock-full of icy cold drinks.
You THINK have everything you need for your road trip.
But, if you haven’t had your vehicle checked out, you’re missing a very important step.
The truth is, taking off without making sure your car is road-trip-ready is asking for trouble.
Don’t worry – it’s nothing too complicated.
Here’s what you need to check.
1. Engine oil
Before you head out, double-check the date you’re due for an oil change.
If the date is close, you should probably get the oil changed or at least seek the advice of your mechanic.
2. Transmission and differential fluids
Don’t forget about the other important fluids your vehicle needs to run smoothly.
Your owner’s manual will have the recommended intervals for them to be changed out.
Your vehicle’s hoses endure a lot of wear and tear from extreme temperatures.
Over time, the rubber can harden and crack, causing major issues.
Having them checked – and replaced, if necessary – before you leave will prevent you and the family being stranded.
Ragged, torn, cracked, or otherwise worn belts can cause your vehicle to not run as efficiently as it should or to break down.
A loose belt can cause trouble, too.
It’s a good idea to have your belts regularly inspected by your mechanic, especially before you take a trip.
5. Engine coolant
Newer cars can usually go 100,00 to 150,000 miles before the coolant needs to be changed.
Older vehicles can’t go as far, but it’s always best to defer to your owner’s manual and your mechanic.
A lack of sufficient engine coolant can cause your vehicle to overheat.
There are two main elements to pay attention to when it comes to tires.
If your tire pressure is too low, your tires won’t wear evenly and they’re more prone to hydroplaning or other dangerous issues.
Your owner’s manual will tell you the correct pressure to which your tires should be inflated.
The other important component to pay attention to is the tread.
If the tread depth of your tires isn’t adequate, they won’t be able to grip the road as well as they should.
You can take a look at your battery terminals to see if they have any corrosion and that the connections are secure.
Your mechanic can make sure that your battery is sufficiently charged.
This is especially important if your vehicle is more than a few years old.
Hit the road – safely
Once you’ve checked your vehicle’s important systems, you’re ready to load up the car and enjoy a road trip.