The days are getting longer and warmer, the kids are out of school (or soon will be), and the open road is calling. You know what that means - time for a road trip.
You already know to bring along plenty of sunscreen and a big cooler for soda and snacks. But, it’s easy to overlook the family car, truck or van in all the preparation. So before setting off down the highway on your summer vacation, we’ve got a few tips for you to keep your ride in great condition on those long, hot driving adventures just ahead.
- Check your car’s vital fluids. Transmission fluid, motor oil, and engine coolant all bear the brunt of the summer heat. Also, your brake fluid is going to get a workout. Change them or add more as needed to help avoid an unplanned rest stop at the side of the interstate.
- Complete the small repairs. You know that cracked side mirror, or the yellowed and faded lenses on your headlights, or the stuck window regulator? These minor annoyances can become big headaches or even safety issues when you’re on a long drive. For instance, opaque headlight lenses can block up to 30% of the light coming from the bulbs. A broken taillight is sometimes all the highway patrol needs to have you take a time-out. Make this trip a little easier on yourself by replacing worn or broken parts beforehand. (we have great, inexpensive aftermarket replacement parts)
- Inspect your tires. Make sure they’re properly inflated and have enough tread left on them. This can make a big difference when it comes to safety, ride comfort, and fuel efficiency.
- Air filters. Most modern cars have an air filter for the engine and a cabin air filter for the interior climate control. If either of them is dark gray or clogged with small debris, swap it for a fresh one, to help you and your car to stay cool.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are good to go. You never know when a sudden storm might crop up in your path, so make sure you can see where you’re going. Replace wiper blades that are torn, brittle, noisy, or more than a year old.
It’s never a bad idea to check with a mechanic to make sure you’re not missing anything. If time isn't on your side, this might be the way to go. Help keep it inexpensive by ordering new aftermarket replacement auto parts and having your mechanic do the install and tuning.
Showing a little TLC to the four-wheeled member of the family before setting out will go a long way toward making good memories. Happy traveling!
- AutoandArt Staff