Do you really need to get your car ready for summer vacation? I think yes, and it only involves few steps that could potentially save you thousands of dollars especially if you are driving far from home.
Check Your Car’s Cooling System.
If the cooling system of your car fails, expect a roadside breakdown in a mile or two. Cooling your car’s engine is the job of the radiator. It is one of the most hardworking mechanisms of your car which also very susceptible to wear and tear. Therefore, always make it a point to have it checked regularly especially if you are planning to drive long distances. Check the radiator for possible leaks, loose joints and the hoses. Replace them immediately if they are starting to dry up or cracks start to show off. You would also need to replace the coolant yearly.
Check The Other Fluids.
Your car carries many different kinds of fluids such as the motor oil, brake fluid and steering fluid. Make sure all the levels are above the minimum range and always remember to replace the oil after passing the 3500 miles of usage.
Checking The Belts.
You should change the fan and alternator belts if they are already cracked and worn out. Do not wait for these belts to disintegrate in the middle of nowhere.
Checking The Tires.
A blown out tire in the middle of a busy highway is a complete disaster. Always check your tires to see if there are uneven wear. Also, check if the treads are showing off already. You can tell if your tires need replacement if you can see more than the top head of Abraham Lincoln’s when you insert a penny right into the treads.
Inspect Safety Equipment.
Check your lights and windshield wipers if they are working properly. You can never tell if sudden rain pours down on you while driving. If you are living in an area where there is always rain, then you need to replace your wipers quite often. Taillights, headlights and brake lights are essential components of your car that increases your road safety. Many states are stringent if you are caught with nonfunctioning ones, and the hassle is twofold if you are held in the state other than where you live.
Check The Emergency Kit.
You would also need to carry emergency tools or kit in your car all the time. Hand tools such as screwdrivers or socket wrenches are indispensable. A flashlight, water container, flare, emergency tapes as well as jumper cables are important as well. Spare belts, hoses and other spare parts can be of a great help too.
If you think that the guidelines are just too much for you, there are car repair facilities that charge a nominal fee to check those things on your behalf. If your car is still under warranty, or you are a member of a certain organization, you might be able to receive a discounted pre-road trip checkup.
Lastly, do not forget to carry the required documents such as your insurance policy and car warranty certificates.