Summer’s here; the kids are out of school; it’s time to start preparing for vacations and road trips. We want your trip to go smoothly, and nothing will derail a trip faster than vehicle troubles. Now if something really goes wrong, take a look at our blog detailing signs of good and bad auto shops. However, you can gain some considerable peace of mind by taking care of some maintenance before you head out on your great American road trip.
We want you to have a great, trouble free, summer trip, so here’s a quick checklist of things you should take a look at before you hit the road this summer.
Trip Inspection Checklist
- Tires:While you may not be able to avoid a road hazard, you can make sure that your tires are in good condition. Check for signs of uneven tire wear, proper inflation, and overall tread depth.
- Brakes:You’ll want to make sure your brakes are in good shape before you hit the road for a big trip. Make sure you have sufficient pad life left and that your brake fluid is in good shape.
- Suspension:You don’t want to drive hundreds or thousands of miles on a worn suspension. Check to make sure your shocks and struts are in good shape.
- Coolant:An overheating vehicle is no good if you’re in the middle of nowhere. Check the state of your coolant as well as the hoses. If your car is running hot, you’re going to want to take care of that before you hit the road.
- Transmission:Check your fluid and if you notice and have trouble shifting, have a professional take a look before you head out on your trip.
- Belts:At the very least give the belts in your vehicle a quick once over. Look for cracks or other signs of wear. Changing out worn belts is often a quick fix, but you don’t want to be doing it once you’re already on vacation.
- Routine maintenance:Changing your oil and filters is generally a good idea before a big trip. Consider getting a tune up if your vehicle is a little older.
- AC:If your AC isn’t blowing as a cold as you’d like, you’re probably going to want to take care of that before a big trip.
- Service intervals:Check your owner’s manual to ensure that you’re not coming up on a major service interval. If it’s time to have your power steering or differential serviced, or timing belt replaced, it’s probably a good idea to take care of that before a big trip.
- Windshield wipers:These should be changed at least once a year. Also make sure your washer fluid reservoir is full. We all know that you’re going to hit a ton of bugs driving through the Midwest in the summer.
- Headlights:Check for brightness, if they’re older they may not be working as well. You’ll definitely want to take care of that before any trip where you’ll be driving at night.
You can check most of these things yourself, and they should be taken care of as part of regular vehicle maintenance. If you’d like the pros at inMOTION to give your vehicle a pre-trip inspection, we’d be more than happy to. Then you can hit the open road with confidence this summer. Have a great trip.