Summer Travel? Make Sure Your Car Is Well-Maintained

Summer is the time for traveling. Thousands of Americans go to national parks, visit relatives in other states and look for ways to pass the time while having a good time with family and friends. Good memories are usually made during this time.

If you want to fill your time and your memories with awesome experiences, then you definitely need to ensure that your car is running smoothly and well-maintained. If you don’t do that before leaving, you may end up with a broken car in the middle of nowhere hundreds of miles away from home. Better be safe than sorry. Check your car for the following items. Unsure of how to do the following tips? Better bring your car to a mechanic.

Air filter. Ideally, air filters should be replaced two times a year. If you haven’t done so for a long time, you might want to do that now. It only takes about 10 minutes.

Tires. Is your tire inflated correctly? Does it have punctures? How many kilometers are left in its lifespan? Check the brand of your tires and its average lifespan or number of kilometers. Make sure that you put the correct tire pressure. Since it is the summer, the roads, especially asphalt and concrete, can be really hot.

Do you have a spare tire? You better! If you ever have a blown tire in the highway, this will really come in handy!

Basic Tools. How about the basic car tools? Make sure you pack in a good jack, your cross wrench and other wrenches (doesn’t really matter if it’s open or closed wrench, as long as it does the job), plus the early warning device. Include a screwdriver, vise grip, and other tools you may need.

Change oil and other fluids. Check the specifications of your car. Most cars require you to change motor oil every 5,000 kilometers. Other fluids such as transmission fluid, clutch and brake fluids may be changed every 10,000 kilometers. These are really important because they ensure the smooth operation of your vehicle.

Wipers. After the winter, you should also look at your wipers. Replace them as needed. If you change them now at the start of summer, you can use it until the winter. It might rain, or it might not, depending on your location and the climate in your area. But just in case it rains, a good wiper will help you travel comfortably.

Brakes. Check your brakes! And that includes the brake fluid and the brake pads. Especially, if you are going to the mountains. The last thing you want to happen is your car sliding downward on an incline because of slippery roads. If you don’t change your brake pads, it may cause damage on your braking system.

Battery. Your battery is important in starting and powering all electronic components of your car. During the winter, your battery was hard at work, so check it out for corrosion and other possible damage. Take a look at the batter terminals and the cables to ensure smooth operation

Headlights. Oh yes, summer is hot and the skies are usually clear. But if you plan to drive at night, make sure you have adequate headlights. If you’re traveling to the mountains, the fog may reduce visibility, so you should have the right halogen bulbs for such conditions.

Air-conditioning system. Summer means the heat can sometimes be unbearable. So make sure that your A/C system is in tiptop shape. Your car can literally cook you with the heat without a good air conditioning system.

Belts & Hoses. Check for cracks, holes, and loose connections. These hoses will keep the liquids circulating and will help your engine run as it should. Belts should not be too smooth or too dry. Replace these as needed.

Coolant and Radiator. Don’t ever travel with a busted radiator. Make sure the water level is at the right one, otherwise, your engine will overheat, and in severe cases, your engine might catch fire and explode. Bye-bye vacation. Bye-bye car. Coolants are also important. Replace the antifreeze and ensure correct coolant level.

It sounds tedious right? It should be. When it comes to your safety, you shouldn’t take chances. As you travel or just get on with a road trip, enjoy. And always keep safe!

Auto Novice

Auto Novices is a blog, that was set up in November 2011, which tries to help inform new & old automobile owners about various subjects from keeping their car in good working order right through to tips on buying a new & used motorbikes. GUEST POSTS: If you would like to produce a guest post for this blog then please contact us via the link in the navigation menu at the top of the page.