Getting ready for a road trip? Follow these ten vehicle checks before you hit the road! You can find all of the products mentioned in this article at our store locations.
Vehicle Checks for a Safe Road Trip
Have all tires inspected for wear. If your tires tread is low or there are any signs of the wear bars, consider getting them replaced. If your tires are still in good shape, have them rotated and balanced if necessary. It’s recommended to have your tires rotated every 5,000-10,000 miles. Next, be sure to have the tire inflation inspected and adjusted if tire pressure is too low.
Steering and Suspension Check
Your suspension takes the most abuse from driving, but since it rarely causes problems until the parts are about to break, people don’t think to have it checked. If your car does not seem to be riding as smooth as it used to, make sure you get your suspension checked before your road trip. If something were to break while you were driving, it could be dangerous for you and your passengers, and costly to repair.
If you only get one thing done before your road trip, make sure it’s getting an oil change. Clean motor oil in your car lubricates moving parts, while picking up dirt deposits, metal particles and other impurities that run through your vehicle’s engine. A new oil filter and clean oil can make your car run quieter as the particles in the engine are properly trapped. Having regular oil changes done also keep your engine cooler by helping your car to not work as hard.
At the same time you get your oil changed, have the cabin and air filters looked at too to see if they need replacing. Its recommended this is done once a year. A clean air filter can help increase your gas mileage and reduce your vehicles emissions. This quick fix can help prolong the life of your engine too! A clean cabin filter on the other hand, is a great way to increase the comfort of passengers inside the vehicle as they can help filter the air from impurities and odor.
Automotive Battery Check
Do you remember when you had your battery installed? It’s probably been longer than you would think. A quick check with a battery tester can tell you if your battery still has an ample amount of life left. Based on the battery condition the tester gives you, a new battery may be recommended – especially in colder weather.
There are several different belts in your vehicle that could be going bad. When belts start to wear out, they tend to slip. The belt no longer grips the surface that turns it, and that dreadful squealing noise you’ve heard on other vehicles, will start happening on your car. Avoid this annoying sound and have your belts checked before you go.
If your exhaust is not functioning properly, your fun is going to suffer. Not only are bad exhaust pipes loud and annoying when you drive, they can also cause your wallet some pain. A leaky exhaust system can upset the way your car runs and cause poor gas mileage. Leaks in pipes, mufflers and other exhaust components are easily found by techs looking under the car.
Getting these small things checked on your vehicle can make a world of difference on the road. New wiper blades will not only help you see better in the rain, they also improve your safety while driving through storms. And while you won’t be able to prevent a blinker or headlight from going out while you’re gone, you can purchase extras of these bulbs to keep in your vehicle just in case.
Brake pads and rotors wear down when pressure is applied continuously over thousands of miles. This reduces the friction between the pads and the rotors, and can be dangerous as it reduces their ability to slow your car down. If your car needs brake work, your mechanic will be able to easily tell you just by looking at them. A wear indicator makes contact against the rotor and causes that squealing noise as you apply the brakes. If your car is making this noise now, get your brakes looked at before you leave.
Other Helpful Travel Accessories: Bug Shields, to help keep nasty pests off your windshield. Tonneau Covers for Trucks – Have one of these installed to help improve gas mileage and protect your belongings from the elements.