Preparing Your Car for Road Tripping!
By Marcella Lowery
Before taking to the roads this Summer, be sure your mode of personal transportation is safe for you & yours. Follow my simple checklist -
Brake System Maintenance: Pay attention to your car's braking system. If you notice any unusual noises, vibrations, or a change in braking performance, have your brakes inspected and serviced by a professional.
- Regular Oil Changes: Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for oil change intervals. Oil lubricates the engine and keeps it running smoothly. Neglecting oil changes can lead to engine damage. Take it from me - this is super important to keep oil levels in check. I have had to replace a car because of driving around for 3 weeks with only a quart of oil.... long story.
- Check Tire Pressure: Maintain the correct tire pressure by checking it at least once a month. Underinflated or overinflated tires can affect fuel efficiency and handling. Also, don't forget to inspect the tires for wear and replace them when necessary. I mean seriously, who likes changing or waiting for a flat time to be changed in the hot Texas heat?
- Replace Filters: Regularly replace the air filter, oil filter, and fuel filter according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Clean filters promote better engine performance and fuel efficiency.
- Battery Care: Check the battery regularly for corrosion and clean it if necessary. Ensure the battery connections are tight. If your battery is old or weak, consider replacing it to avoid unexpected breakdowns. Inspect connections to your battery. One time I thought my battery was dead and after charging it , thought I was going have to buy another - turns out the cable was loose.
(Stock Image courtesy of Pexels )
- Fluid Checks: Regularly check the levels of important fluids such as coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. Top them up or replace them as needed. Refer to your vehicle's manual for specific instructions. Dont forget the windshield wash fluid to keep the view clear.
- Keep it clean: regularly wash your car to maintain its appearance and prevent the accumulation of dirt, debris, and corrosive substances. Clean the interior as well to keep it comfortable and free
- Regular Inspections: Schedule periodic inspections by a qualified mechanic. They can identify potential issues before they become major problems and ensure your car is in good working order.
- Pay Attention to Warning Signs: If you notice any warning lights on your dashboard or experience any unusual sounds, vibrations, or performance issues, don't ignore them. Address these issues promptly to prevent further damage.
- Follow the Maintenance Schedule: Consult your vehicle's manual and adhere to the recommended maintenance schedule. This includes not only oil changes but also other inspections, part replacements, and servicing tasks specific to your car. I use my "B" setting on my tachometer to remind me when its time to take the vehicles in for routine services.
Remember, regular car maintenance can save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs and improving fuel efficiency. If you're unsure about any specific maintenance tasks, it's always a good idea to consult with a professional mechanic.
Stay Safe & Happy Travels!