Ah, Spring! Summer is a few months away. Is your vehicle ready for the weekend road trip or summer vacation travel? Here are a few car maintenance items to check out and do before you hit the road.
Schedule any routine maintenance before your trip so you won’t have to stop for it during your trip. Oil change still a few hundred miles out? Get it done before you hit the road and to avoid any performance issues. Have all fluids topped off and make sure your tires are rotated. Maintaining these things gives you a better ride and lessens the chance of routine maintenance needing to be done when you are away from your trusted car care facility.
Have your tire air pressure checked (including the spare) and have tires inspected for wear. Many vehicles have only a donut as a spare. Consider having your spare replaced with a full size tire that way you can continue a trip at normal speeds and distances without a trip to the tire shop.
Replace windshield wiper blades if need be and make certain you have plenty of fluid in the windshield well. It is recommended to replace them every 6 to 12 months.
Have all your lights checked just like you would for a vehicle inspection. Turn signals, headlights, and tail lights should all be in working condition. Don’t hit the road without making sure all are operational. If you will be pulling a trailer or camper, make certain those lights are all in working order. It is also a good idea to carry a spare fuse.
If a indicator light is on, have it checked by a qualified mechanic. It is better to know why the light came on than take a chance while on the open road.
Have a mechanic check your radiator, hoses, and belts for wear. Your car will run better and you can prevent being temporarily stranded if these are close to replacement time. Prevention is the best cure when it comes to hoses and belts.
Have your brake system inspected. Making sure your vehicle can stop on a dime prevents many accidents. Brake pads wear thin and sometimes unevenly. You may not notice they are about to go out until it is too late. Have a qualified professional take a look.
Check the suspension of your vehicle. Being in a vehicle with worn struts and/or shocks can be likened to flying in an airplane plagued by turbulence. Bouncing up and down after every little bump in the road does not make for a pleasant trip. Have worn springs, struts, and shocks replaced.
Have the air conditioning system serviced and checked. It gets hot quickly in a car and adding to the misery of a hot, humid day is a vehicle without cool air.
Clean your vehicle from top to bottom, inside and out, before your trip. Maintain the cleanliness inside with trash bags instead of using the floor boards for waste. At each pit stop, throw your trash away and clean the windshield.
One last thing to check is your car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle insurance coverage. Knowledge is power, and when traveling knowing you are covered in the event of an accident can greatly increase your chances of relaxing. Kelly Lee Insurance agents can give you a fast, no-obligation quote by telephone or online. Make certain you have the insurance coverage you need at prices you can afford, for even the youngest drivers in your family, and take a vacation free from worry.