Make sure your car is ready for the road!
There is no telling what the full effects of the COVID-19 crisis will be. However, we are seeing positive trends and soon things will begin to get back to what we know as “normal times.” For many of us, the stay-at-home order has resulted in severe cabin fever, longing for the days when we can go out freely and take a drive. Plus, the summer will be here before you know it and that means many of you will be planning a road trip.
With all that we’ve been through these past months, the last thing you want is a breakdown while on your long awaited and much needed road trip. Below are tips to get your car in shape:
- Tires: Inspect your tires. If you have been holding off on purchasing a new set of tires, now is the time. Also, if you still have winter/snow tires on your car, they must be removed. Winter tires will wear out extremely fast in warmer weather. Lastly, always maintain the correct tire pressure and check the spare tire also.
- Oil Change Service: Make sure you schedule an oil change to include a new oil filter.
- Test Your Air Condition: If your car’s A/C is not performing the way it should, have it checked by a professional a few weeks before your planned trip.
- Have a professional perform a Pre-Trip Multipoint Inspection: A week or so before your trip, book an appointment with your mechanic and ask him to perform a Pre-Trip Multipoint Inspection. A trained pro will identify any potential problems and give you peace of mind.
- Fuel and Oil Additives: These additives should be added as an extra level of insurance for the health of your car’s engine. Plus, they help keep your fuel system and engine running properly and saves fuel also.
- Cabin Filter: The cabin filter is located in your car’s air condition and heater vent system. This filter traps contaminants from entering the car; essentially filtering the air you and your occupants breathe. For health reasons, this filter is one of the most important features in your car and is usually replaced about once a year.
- Air Filter: The air filter traps debris from entering your engine. A clean air filter will protect your engine and maintain engine performance and fuel economy. Air filters should be inspected at every oil change service and replaced when needed.
- Wiper Blades: Wiper blades usually last about a year or so. Inspect your wiper blades for wear and torn edges.
- Battery: Your car battery typically will last about 4 to 6 years, but can fail without warning. It’s a good idea to have the battery tested before you leave on your trip.
- Clean Your Car: Always start a trip with a nice clean car.
- Plan Out Your Trip:Even with navigation systems on your cell phone or on your dash, it’s also a good idea to pre-plan your trip the old fashion way, on a traditional road map. While most of us will still utilize GPS, it’ll help to do a little homework and plan before you head out.
- Watch the Weather Forecasts: A few days before your trip, pay attention to the weather reports for your area and the area you plan on traveling to.
- What to Carry Along on a Road Trip: While no one wants to have the inconvenience of a breakdown, it’s always best to be prepared. Before heading out, make sure you have your cell phone, cell phone charger, emergency contact list, water bottles, snacks, blanket, flashlight, tire pressure gauge and games for the kids.
- Final Pre-Trip Check:On the day you head out, do one last quick check. Check your exterior lights, oil level, washer fluid level, tire pressure and make sure your gas tank is full.
I hope you found these tips useful. Keep safe and have a great road trip!