Do you know the right car maintenance tips to prepare for your next road trip? When it comes time to hit the road, your car and its upkeep need to be a priority. Travelling, especially long distances, can subject your car to an array of threats, from the obvious to the obscure.
Vehicle maintenance is key to keeping safe while driving. Before each trip, ensure that you make diagnostic checks with an auto repair shop company Red Deer, or wherever you may be. This step helps you narrow down to the intricate damages that your car may have sustained on the previous trip. It also saves the hassle of running into problems on the road.
Now, if you want to keep your vehicle in tip-top condition before you take to the road, read on to learn some car maintenance tips.
Monitor Your Engine’s Oil Level
Motor oil serves as a lubricant to help keep the engine running and protect it from wear and tear. To ensure the engine is lubricated, take a few minutes to check the dipstick for the oil level before filling, and make sure you use the correct oil viscosity or grade for your engine type. Change the oil according to your vehicle’s owner’s manual, which will give the recommended mileage or time frame. You should change the oil every 3,000 miles or every three months.
Properly Inflate Your Tires
Before taking off, ensure that your tire pressure meets the manufacturer’s specifications. If the Reading on the tire gauge is too low, use a tire inflator or pump to fill up the air until it reaches the required level. Also, check the tire treads to make sure they are not overly worn or damaged. A good way to determine the tread depth is to use a penny. Place the penny headfirst into the groove of the tread – if the tread covers part of Lincoln’s head, you have enough tread left to keep driving safely.
Check Your Lights and Mirrors
Start with the two side mirrors, ensuring they are clean against the door to minimize blind spots, and adjust so that the side and the rear view are optimal. Make sure your headlights and taillights are functioning properly. Be sure your windshield wiper blades are in good condition. Then top up your windshield washer fluid. Check your backup lights for safe reversing. If any of these parts are not working correctly, have them fixed before leaving on your journey.
Bring Along Tools and Check Fluids
Bring along all the tools, such as wrenches and screwdrivers, that you may need to make repairs or adjustments to your vehicle. Check all the fluids in your car, such as antifreeze, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. Replace antifreeze every two years or 24,000 miles and power steering fluid if discolored or has a burnt odor. Inspect the brake fluid to be sure that it is not too low.
Inspect Your Brakes, Suspension, and Steering Components
To ensure a safe and smooth ride, it’s crucial to have your brakes, suspension, and steering components in top condition. Begin by inspecting the brake pads, calipers, and rotors for wear and replace them if needed. Test the suspension for any signs of wear or damage, including tie rods, ball joints, and shocks. Don’t forget to examine the steering components too. If you require expert assistance, consider visiting a reliable maryland auto repair service (or wherever you stay) to address any issues seamlessly. Their skilled mechanics will help get your vehicle road-ready for your trip.
Test Your Battery Voltage
To test the battery voltage, you’ll need a digital multimeter with a voltage setting. Connect the black lead to the negative terminal and the red lead to the positive terminal. The meter should read between 12.4-12.7 volts. Signs of corrosion on the terminals could include a green or yellow sulfur-like residue around them. If the corrosion is terrible, you’ll need to remove it and clean it. Start by taking off the battery cables and use a wire brush to scrub the corrosion off. Once done, dip a cloth in some baking soda and water and use it to scrub the terminals clean. When finished, rinse off with cold water, dry, and reattach the cables.
Verify All of Your Emergency Items
It’s important to verify that all your emergency items, like a first aid kit, flashlights, and extra tire, are in working condition before your next road trip. Before leaving, take a few minutes to check these items in your car to make sure they are in good condition. Start by making sure that you stock the first aid kit with essential items such as band-aids, gauze, tape, and scissors. Test the flashlights to make sure they are working and have fresh batteries. Check the spare tire to ensure you inflate it and install any necessary tire chains if you will be driving in snow or ice.
Learn These Car Maintenance Tips Before Your Next Road Trip
Don’t let car maintenance keep you from having a great road trip! Following the tips in this article will keep your car running properly and save you the hassle when you are out on the highway. Monitor your engine’s oil level, inflate your tiles, and check your lights, mirrors, brakes, suspension, and steering components. Also, bring along tools and check fluids, test your battery, and verify all your emergency items. So buckle up and enjoy the ride – regular car maintenance can help make that happen!
Look through our auto blog for more car issues and how to handle them.