Make Sure Your is Car Ready for a Road Trip
With summer in full swing, if you’re planning a road trip, it’s important to make sure your car is ready and won’t cause any unforeseen problems. A bit of time looking over your car, or having a mechanic do it, could save you a lot of aggravation and expense on the road. Be sure to have your car thoroughly checked at least a week before you plan to leave to allow time for any repairs that may be necessary.
Most of the things on this list can be done by anyone who has the time and wants to save on the expense of a mechanic. Just remember, brakes and battery should be checked by a professional. Here is a quick list of things to check before you head out on the road:
Check your tire pressure and make sure your tires are up for the journey. Worn tires are more prone to flats and can also be very dangerous. When checking your tires don’t forget the spare, nothing worse than getting a flat and learning your spare tire is not inflated. In our opinion, tires are one of the most critical things to check before leaving on a road trip. Once you are sure your tires are roadworthy, making sure they are inflated correctly according to specifications will save you money on gas!
All fluid levels should be checked. This includes oil, brake fluid, transmission and power steering fluids. Don’t forget to check the windshield wiper fluid as well. If you are unsure about how to check your car’s oil, Consumer Reports has a great article to help guide you.
Belts and Hoses
Do a visual inspection of all hoses you can see. Make sure the fit is snug and that they don’t look worn. You can squeeze them near where they clamp on, as this is a spot where they are likely to be worn.
Do the same with your belts. Look for wear or fraying on the belts. Cracking can also occur on old belts as they become brittle. Any belts or hoses that do not look in good condition should be replaced before your trip.
Wipers deteriorate over time, particularly in very hot and very cold climates. It’s common to not realize your wipers are bad until you need them, especially during periods with little or no rain. Bad wipers not only impact your visibility during inclement weather, a badly compromised wiper can scratch your windshield and do permanent damage. Most of the chain auto part stores sell and install wipers in just a few minutes.
Check to make sure there is no corrosion on the battery cable connection points. If so, you can clean it with a wire brush (some people swear by pouring coke on them, not an endorsement!). If your battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it checked. Most of the chain auto part stores will perform this check for no charge, it only takes about 5 minutes.
Check all your lights to make sure they are working. Get a friend or family member to help while you turn them on including turn signals, bright lights, fog lights, brake and tail lights. If your car is older and your headlights are scratched and/or yellowed, you may want to consider restoring your headlights before you take off. You’ll be amazed at how your nighttime visibility will improve.
Don’t Forget About Paint!
Now you know your car is ready for that road trip, why not check out Econo’s paint packages to get your car looking good before you hit the road? Find your nearest Econo location