The summer time is the perfect time to require a road trip or visit friends and relatives who live far away. Your vehicle is a gateway to going to the big city, going on a fishing trip, going for a hike in the woods or just barbecuing in the lake. Before leaving to get a trip, you must ensure that your vehicle is in proper working condition. In the end, nothing ruins a warm sunny day like getting stranded along the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. Follow these five easy steps to ensure your summer road trip is a safe and inexpensive endeavor.
1. Check your tires
Checking your tires is a good idea when you go on any long trip, whatever season it can be. Over time, your tires can become deflated and may need to be topped off with some air. Usually, your car’s owner’s manual could have the proper air pressure. You can also check the driver door jamb for a sticker with the prescribed pressure levels. Low tire pressure can hurt your car’s fuel economy and then make it harder to steer, which is a serious safety issue.
Also, ensure you have plenty of tread (using the penny test), and this the wear is distributed evenly along each tire. Go to a tire shop to remedy the issue as soon as possible when your tread is low or worn unevenly.
2. Obtain your brakes inspected
Your brakes are among the most significant safety devices in your car. Worn-out brakes can mean the main difference between a harsh stop and a serious accident. Swing by a local shop to get them inspect the wear on your pads if you haven’t had your brakes checked in the past year. For most cars, a visual inspection takes only a few minutes and can literally save your life.
3. Inspect your belts
As a car ages, the belts become dry and brittle, causing them to crack and, eventually, break. If your belt snaps on the streets, your car will cease working and you’ll lose plenty of time and money having it towed for the nearest shop. The time it will take to get a belt inspection can be a tiny fraction of the time it takes to get pulled home from the middle of nowhere.
4. Top off coolant
Your car’s cooling system is especially critical as soon as the weather gets hotter and you’re running the atmosphere conditioner to stay nice and frosty inside. If your car’s low coolant light comes on during the last few months, start the hood and check the coolant level. Most cars have a built in gauge that indicates the proper level. Only check your coolant level once the car is not driven recently, and make sure to top off with distilled water to avoid impurities.
5. Refill window washer fluid reservoir
During a long trip, your windshield will assuredly become covered in dust and dead bugs. To make sure you can easily and quickly remove these without having to stop at a gas station, ensure that your window washer fluid reservoir is full. You can purchase the fluid at your local auto parts store, and it’s usually relatively cheap. The window washer fluid reservoir on most cars is readily available under the hood, as it’s indicated by way of a picture of a windshield about the cap.