Planning a Summer Road Trip? Use This Helpful Car Maintenance Checklist

July 9, 2018 9:53 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Summer is here! Time for road trips and vacations! Before heading out on that much anticipated road trip this summer, make sure your vehicle is up for the task of getting you there and back in one piece. Here’s a basic car maintenance checklist from a local auto shop in Athens County, OH:

  • Change the oil: Motor oil is what keeps your car’s engine running smoothly. Since it lubricates moving parts, it must be changed regularly so fresh oil is always available. With summer here, and your road trip in the planning stages, know that higher temperatures can cause your car’s engine to overheat. Oil changes are important all year, but keep a close eye on it in the summer.
  • Check the belts and hoses: Problems with hoses or belts are best taken care of as soon as possible. Replacing worn belts and hoses can prevent bigger problems later on, and keep you from breaking down on the side of the road this summer. Take your car in for an inspection, especially since changes in temperature, such as going from cooler to hotter weather, can make hose and belt problems worse.
  • Rotate and inspect the tires: You really need to inspect your tires closely before heading out on your road trip. You may be surprised to find wear and tear caused by winter weather conditions. Check the tire tread, have the tires rotated and make sure the tire pressure is appropriate.
  • Test the battery: Did you know you can have your battery tested to see how much juice is left? Testing it ensures it’s in good condition for long trips, or you may learn it needs to be replaced.
  • Change or refill the coolant: The job of your car’s cooling system is to keep the engine from overheating. Flushing the coolant removes debris and old coolant that may break down and cause bigger, more expensive problems. Before, during and after your road trip, check that your vehicle has enough coolant to operate and prevent engine overheating.
  • Run the AC: It’s always a good idea to test the air conditioner throughout the summer months. Make sure that it is functioning properly. The air should be cold and blowing at the correct setting. If your AC is acting up (or not working at all), take your car to a mechanic who can test it and troubleshoot the issue.
  • Inspect the exterior lights: Road tripping means you’ll probably be driving in the dark at times. Check that your turn signal lights, brake lights and headlights are working. Replace burnt-out bulbs, and ask your mechanic to take a look at any lights that are not responding to new bulbs.

While you can perform many of these maintenance checks yourself, some require a trained eye. Consider contacting an auto shop in Athens County, OH to schedule a professional pre-road trip vehicle inspection. This way, a mechanic will perform a thorough check and can make repairs on the spot. Is your vehicle summer ready? Call Dana’s Tire Center today!

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