4 Main things to check before you go on that road trip.
Although three-day weekends might bring a smile to your face on Friday, road tripping is serious business – you don’t want to end up stranded on the side of the road!
Whether you’re heading to a nearby national park or just to the in-laws for some family time, take a few minutes to check out your car’s most important components. We know the summer months are hard on the engines of cars. The extreme heat of summer causes wear on mechanical components of cars. But winter weather can also cause problems with tires, brakes and the engine.
In order to keep your family safe on all its road trip journeys, it’s important to do a little car maintenance. Here is a five-point checklist to ensure your safety on the open highway:
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1. Keep track of tire pressure and treads
Making sure your tires are in good shape is one of the most important safety checks before traveling. Check the air pressure of each tire and make sure it’s at the recommended pressure rating. The pressure rating is printed on the sidewall of the tire and will be measured in PSI (pounds per square inch). It’s also important to check the tire treads using the coin test, which tells you if it’s time for new tires. Here are some of the items needed for tire maintenance on the road:
Tire gauge12-volt portable compressor
Problems with tires often start with a small puncture due to a nail, screw or road debris — here’s what to do about it. Always check the tire pressure and keep an eye out for punctures that need to be repaired.
2. Check, change and pack essential fluids
Your car relies on certain fluids, so they should be checked and changed before a road trip. Change the oil and check the levels of the transmission and brake fluids a few days before you head out. It’s also a good idea to pack extra fluids with your repair kit and tools. Here are the fluids that you want to have with the spare tire in case of an emergency:
OilTransmission fluidBrake fluidPower steering fluidCoolant
The spare tire compartment in most cars will have room for extra fluids. In addition, keep an extra bottle of water with the other fluids for emergencies.
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3. Check your brake pads
Your brakes give you stopping power and aid in handling — pretty important stuff. Before traveling, they need to be inspected. Here are the essential brake components that need to be checked before travelng:
First, check the pads and have them changed if needed. If the pads don’t have much material left, they often begin to make noise due to a metal indicator built into them — this means they need to be changed. In addition, check all the lines for signs of wear or damage and bleed the brakes. Lastly, the fluid in the master cylinder needs to be checked and more brake fluid added if the level is low.
4. Check your coolant system
Viscosity breakdown is a common problem during the summer months. The heat of an engine begins to cause the oil to break down — if left unchecked, it will stop lubricating the engine. The resulting friction will wear on the engine’s parts, and eventually your car will stop working. To avoid viscosity breakdown, it’s important that the engine stay cool. The cooling maintenance and checks needed before a road trip include:
Flushing the radiatorInspecting all rubber radiator hoses
If the radiator has a leak, or any hoses are dry and cracked, have them replaced.
To avoid car trouble and stay safe on the roadways, make sure you make a checklist. Before you pack the luggage, take care of any repairs before your next road trip.
LP and Sons Auto Care
- posted on November 6, 2018 at 7:33 am by admin