June means thoughts turn to summer vacation, time off, and, of course, road trips! With those in mind, there are a few summer maintenance tips that you could benefit from prior to taking to the road. Since summer is the time for travel with beautiful weather and friends and family wanting to pile into the car to head off somewhere new and exciting, it’s easy to overlook your car’s basic maintenance needs. Before pulling out of the driveway, consider the following tips to ensure that you have a safe and travel-ready vehicle! Use the money you save on gas for the trip!
1. Don’t forget to check the oil – While most vehicles require an oil change every 3,000 miles, cars burn more oil over the summer months when heat couples with more time on the road. Take the time to check your oil prior to any road trip to ensure that levels are appropriate and that the oil appears clean. If the oil is low, top it off before heading out onto the open road. If the color is off or it appears clouded, bring it by your friends at Master Tech Automotive for an evaluation. We will put your concerns at ease with a quick diagnostic.
2. Fluids are your friends – Checking the fluid levels in your vehicle prior to a long car trip is essential. Running out of wiper fluid is more a nuisance than a safety risk, but for the comfort of any drivers, it’s best to top those fluids off before heading out the door. Prep your engine for the worst prior to experiencing it first hand and you are practically guaranteed an enjoyable vacation!
3. Quick tire pressure check – It’s easy to overlook your tires because they generally require very little maintenance. Checking the tire pressure prior to leaving on any trip is essential, though many people overlook this simple safety measure. Driving on both under-inflated and over-inflated tires can be dangerous in any season, but moreso as the weather becomes hot. Pressure changes as temperatures rise, putting your vehicle in danger of a blow out or alignment issue and either of those possibilities would be highly disruptive to a summer road trip. It’s best to take care of any tire related issues prior to pulling out of the driveway.
4. Check your air filter – It’s best to give your air filter a check before embarking on any road trip. The air filter keeps dirt and debris out of your car’s cabin, keeping the air fresh and cool for that long car ride. A clogged air filter can lower fuel efficiency and saving money at the pump helps keep that smile on your face.
5. Worried about the brakes?– In an auto emergency, the brakes receive the most immediate use. They are your first line of defense when stuck in a potentially dangerous situation. Heading out on a road trip with grinding or worn pads puts both you and your family at risk of accident and injury. If squeaking or grinding is noticeable, bring the vehicle in for a quick diagnostic. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your vehicle’s performance.
6. Take the time to clean the battery – It’s easy to overlook a corroded battery if you aren’t checking beneath the hood often. A corroded battery can quickly lose its charge, causing an issue for the overall performance of your vehicle. The hot weather is also prone to the opposite effect – overcharging. This is a way of dramatically shortening the lifespan of your battery. Keep your battery clean regularly. If this is not possible, at least take the time to inspect your battery thoroughly in advance of any road trip.
Contact us at Master Tech Automotive today for additional help preparing your vehicle for a road trip or simply to ask for advice on summer maintenance. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your car’s summertime needs. Don’t forget to consider our money saving coupons!