Summer is finally here and you know what that means—vacation time! There are infinite places to venture to during this period, but the majority of the season’s most popular destinations are reached by car. As one may agree, a lot of work goes into planning a vacation, but often times the state of your vehicle is something that is overlooked. As you and your family plan out your vacation spots, make sure your vehicle can get you there. Prepare your vehicle for this summer’s road trips and ensure a safe drive with a quick 10-minute pre-trip check.
Here are 5 helpful hints before you begin driving:
- Check all fluids in the vehicle. There are several fluids within a vehicle, in addition to antifreeze, that require attention. These include engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, and windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Make sure all fluid reservoirs are filled and ready to go!
- Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering, as well as the cooling system, so it is imperative that they are operating correctly before a long-term trip. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced.
- Check tires. Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, bulges, and bald spots, which could indicate the need for wheel alignment. If these signs are present, it is best to replace the affected tires before hitting the road in order to avoid a flat or a blowout. Auto care facilities such as Jack Furrier are there to help inspect vehicles to ensure a safe and fun trip!
- Wash your car. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, washing your car before a long trip can be beneficial. Existing contaminants like dead bugs or bird poop on a windshield can be distracting and obstruct the driver’s view. Before setting off on a trip, make sure to rinse them right away. Wash the windshield in sections, paying particular attention to reducing smudges and streaks. To do so, use a chamois cloth or terry towel to dry the windshield.
- Test your battery. Make sure your battery is at full charge before a long trip. Signs of a weak or low battery include clicking noises when trying to start the engine or dim headlights and cabin lights. If you suspect that your car battery is dying, you can test it using your headlights. The test needs two people—one person who starts up the car, while the other person stands at a distance in front of the car. The person inside the vehicle would turn on the headlights while the other checks how bright they are and then turns on the car. If the headlights fade while the car is being started or just after it has started, the battery is dying and needs to be serviced or replaced.
Through these few tips, you can be one step closer to initiating your summer adventure. As Car Care Council the states, “a last minute checkup is better than no checkup and motorists should plan ahead to allow time to perform necessary maintenance themselves or at the local service facility. A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable.”
Not only does a quick check help reduce the chances of expensive and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one’s own technician who knows the vehicle, such as the car experts at Jack Furrier. Especially important, these checks provide peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car’s performance, it is comforting to know proper precautions were taken.
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