Now that summer is here, many folks are looking forward to packing up the car and hitting the road for vacation, camping trips, and weekend getaways. But, being away from home with a car full of people and belongings is also a vulnerable time if your car has not been properly maintained. In fact, more car accidents happen during the summer due to vehicle malfunctions, than in winter months because of weather.
Here are some inspections to address before you hit the road:
Tires. Varying weather conditions cause tires to perform differently. In the hot summer sun it is important to have your tire pressure and tread checked before you get on the road. Tire pressure is different for different types of cars and you can find your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure in your owner’s manual. The amount of tread on your tire is what keeps the tires on the pavement and gives them traction. Take your car in for a tire inspection before you make a long distance trip and make sure they check to see if the tires need to be rotated. Regularly rotating the tires on your car will help to make sure they wear evenly.
Fluids. Now that the fall and spring seasons are behind you, it’s a good time to take your car in and have all of the fluids checked and topped off. Typically, the driving done in the cooler seasons is just around town, but in the summer time it is not unusual for folks to drive long distances. Before you go, have the coolant, transmission, and power steering fluids all checked to make sure they are at proper levels.
Oil change. It is recommended that you have the oil changed on your vehicle every 3,000 miles regardless of how far you will be driving it or, in what kind of weather. However, before you go on a long trip you should also have the oil filter and air filters on your car checked to see if they need replacing. Most full-service oil change places will check these things as part of a routine appointment.
Buckling your family into the car for a road trip can be an exciting and freeing activity. Just the thought of getting on the road and away from the grind is relaxing. But, having an accident or, getting stuck on the side of the road are very real dangers – especially if your car has not been properly maintained.