Is your car ready for the summer? Taking a long vacation can be relaxing on the soul but taxing on the engine. Before you start getting into gear, you need to get your vehicle checked out! Here are some of the most important things to check before you get going.
1. Check Tire Pressure
Your tire pressure doesn't just affect the smoothness of your ride (though that's obviously important, too). Low tire pressure contributes to premature wear on your tires, can lead to tires bursting and will even reduce your gas efficiency. If you seem to be filling up your tires at every station, you may even need to get new tires entirely. Invest in a tire pressure gauge for the road, and check your tire pressure at intervals.
2. Check the Oil Levels
An oil change never hurts. Changing your oil too infrequently will cause build up throughout the engine and make your engine work harder — it can even lead to needing early replacements for some parts. Checking your oil levels is easy, but getting your oil changed is best done by a professional because the oil needs to be properly disposed of. Most people don't change their oil often enough, as it needs to be changed based on both time and also how often you drive. If you frequently drive for long distances, you're probably not changing your oil enough.
3. Replace Wiper Blades
One of the easiest fixes with the most dramatic effects, replacing your wiper blades is fast and cheap. Over time, windshield wiper blades become squeaky and ineffective -- and on a road trip, you never know what kind of sudden weather you could encounter. Replacing your wiper blades will make your car both easier to drive and much safer.
4. Check Your Fluids
Your oil isn't the only fluid you need to check. What about brakes? Or even windshield wiper fluid? To be truly prepared, you need to get all of your fluids checked. Luckily this is all done during routine maintenance checks, which can also detect if your car has any problems. If you've already suspected that your car may have a leak, now is the time to get that fixed.
5. Pack an Emergency Bag
An emergency bag is important regardless of your destination. A bag should have blankets, jumper cables, flares, water, granola bars and flashlights. If you're traveling in bad weather, cat litter can also be useful for getting yourself out of mud (it adds traction). Maps of the area are also important, and you may want a way to charge your phone even if your car is dead.
Now that you've worried about all that, you don't need to worry anymore! You can just have fun and relax knowing that you've covered all of your bases. If you want to make sure your car is travel-safe without any additional work, you can pull into Auto Tek for a complete inspection. Call to schedule today!