Summer Road Trip Checklist

With Memorial Day weekend being the unofficial kick off for summer, there are several summertime maintenance tips that come to mind. Summer is the time for travel. The kids are off from school, weather is beautiful, and everyone wants to pile into the car to head off somewhere new. Before you pull out of your driveway, consider the following tips to ensure that you have a safe, trip-ready vehicle! You might even save some money at the gas pump along the way.

1. Simple tire check – It’s easy to overlook tires because they are reliable, do not give much of an indicator when service is necessary, and generally get the job done with little regular maintenance. Checking the tire pressure prior to leaving on any trip is essential and most people overlook it. Driving on both under-inflated and over-inflated tires is dangerous in any season, but moreso as the weather becomes hot. Pressure changes as temperatures rise, putting your vehicle in danger of a blow out or misalignment issue.

2. Check the oil – While most vehicles require an oil change every 3,000 miles, our cars burn more oil over the summer months when long road trips are in the itinerary. Take the time to check the oil prior to any road trip to ensure that levels are appropriate. If the oil is low, top it off before heading out onto the open road.

3. Fluids are your friends – Checking the fluid levels in your vehicle prior to a road trip is essential. Running out of wiper fluid when it’s needed is never a good experience. Neither is being low on coolant because chances are, it’s going to be hot out there when the AC stops doing its job. Best to prepare your vehicle for the road ahead before even starting the engine.

4. Air filter check – Give your air filter a look before any road trip because it’s your car’s first line of defense against debris. A clogged air filter also lowers fuel efficiency and no one wants to pay more than they have to at the pump.

5. What’s that squeak?– The brakes are your first line of defense in an auto emergency. Heading out on a trip with worn brake pads or grinding puts both you and your family at risk. If either squeaking or grinding is noticeable, bring your vehicle in for a quick diagnostic. It doesn’t hurt to check before you are on the road for hours at a time.

6. Clean the battery – A battery weighed down with corrosion can cause a multitude of problems, first being losing its charge. Couple this with hot weather and the opposite effect is possible – overcharging. This could dramatically shorten the lifespan of your battery. Keeping your battery clean can reduce the possibility of overcharging significantly.

For more tips on preparing for a summer road trip, come in to Quality Auto Care. Our expert technicians are happy to advise on this and all car care related matters. It’s our pleasure to help out those in our community and our friends who drive from neighboring communities. We look forward to seeing you!

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