We’ve all seen the car on the side of the road with the blown tire or the shredded remnants of a tire sitting in the middle of the road. Don’t let this happen to you! Inspect the tread and use a tire gauge to determine air levels before setting out on your adventure.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]
Check your oil, transmission, coolant and brake fluid before you get on the road this summer. These fluids keep the car running properly and prevent maintenance issues from arising.
Oil keeps things running smoothly in your car’s engine. If you have an oil change coming up, go ahead and schedule it before your trip. To check the oil yourself, turn off the car, lift the hood and locate the dipstick. Pull the dipstick out, wipe the oil off with a rag, and then reinsert the stick. Pull the dipstick out again and examine the oil on the stick. If the oil film reaches the “Full” bar on the stick, you don’t need to add oil.
The transmission fluid keeps the gears of the car running smoothly. To check this yourself, you’ll need to keep the engine running either in Neutral or Park. Lift the hood of your car, locate the transmission dipstick and pull it out. Wipe the dipstick clean and reinsert it. Pull it out again and note if it reaches the Full line. If it doesn’t, you can add transmission fluid using a funnel.
The coolant is stored in the car’s radiator. This fluid keeps the car cool and prevents overheating. To check the coolant level, open the hood of the car when the car is cool, locate the radiator, remove the radiator cap and insert the dipstick. Pull the stick out and examine it to determine if coolant should be added.
Another vital fluid, the brake fluid keeps the brakes functioning properly. Low brake fluid means that your brake pads are low and could cause problems when you try to brake. Take your car to a mechanic to determine if the levels are low.
Wash your vehicle, particularly the windows and side mirrors before embarking on your journey. Grime, dust and other particles settle on car windows and obscure the driver’s view. Check windshield wipers to ensure they are fully functioning. New wipers are inexpensive and easy to install. Check your headlights and low lights to ensure they are working.
Suspension and Transmission
A dead transmission is expensive to fix and will be an unpleasant way to spend your trip. Have a technician take a look at your car’s transmission before the road trip. He or she will also look at the suspension system for any worn parts.
Prepare an emergency kit for unexpected events. Include items such as flashlights, roadside flares, a first-aid kit, a tool kit, jumper cables and a blanket. Extra water and snacks such as granola bars are recommended. A roadside emergency card such as AAA is a sound investment if you are planning on doing a lot of driving.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]