Summer travel through scorching temperatures means preparations. Routine car maintenance is essential for ensuring your vehicle remains in good working order. With 90% of Americans having taken at least one road trip since 2020, it shows that people are ready to hit the road.
Here’s what you need to do to prepare your car for traveling across the country this summer.
Check All Four Tires
The first step to checking all four tires is to ensure that they are in good working order. While you should be doing this every time you take your car out of the garage, it’s extra important before a long trip.
Examine each tire for any signs of gouges, cuts, or bulges. It’s easy to pick up punctures from small objects on the road and then fail to notice them for days.
Balding tires are another problem because these are a safety issue. When the treads wear down, you lose grip. A sudden summer downpour could easily lead to an accident if your tires cannot adequately grip the road.
A simple trick to check your tires is to stick a quarter into the treads. If you can still see George Washington’s head, you need a new tire.
Assuming your tires are ready for the journey, check the tire pressure. Do this after your car has sat idle and the tires have completely cooled. Refer to your owner manual for information on your car’s recommended tire pressure.
Ensuring the correct pressure is a cost-effective way of getting the most mileage out of your vehicle.
Examine the Brakes
Anything can happen in the middle of a long road trip. Your brakes must be in peak condition. If you can hear any grinding sounds or feel vibrations when using your brakes, you must take your car to a mechanic for a more in-depth inspection. A technician will be able to examine the vehicle for any leaks.
Consider when the last time was you replaced your brake pads. The average set of brake pads is designed to last for roughly 20,000 miles.
Generally, it’s always good to approach a mechanic for an inspection a few times per year anyway.
Open Up Your Battery
The car battery powers everything electronic in your vehicle. A failed battery in the middle of a long drive means you will find yourself stuck without most of the functions in your car.
Bring your car to a mechanic. Your local garage will be able to check your battery’s levels. Most batteries are equipped to last for an average of 50,000 miles, so if you don’t remember the last time you replaced your battery, it may be due for replacement.
Note that if you already have some knowledge of vehicles, you can access the battery yourself to ensure it remains secure and that the connections remain tight.
Apply Window Tinting to Your Vehicle
Window tinting is not there purely to improve the aesthetic of your vehicle. The tinting reduces the internal temperatures of the car, ensuring a more comfortable drive.
Approach a garage for window tinting in Tarrant County, TX, and get the tint that will give you a better summer drive and one that’s legal.
You can purchase your own home tinting kit online, but many of these tinting kits are illegal. Federal regulations have strict limits on how much you can tint your windows. If caught, you can be heavily fined.
As a rule of thumb, you must be visible through your windows.
Track Your Fluids
Your car relies on a careful balance of fluids to perform to its peak capacity. Engine oil provides lubrication and lowers the amount of heat caused by friction. Coolants stop your car from overheating, and you also have power steering and transmission fluids to consider.
You can check the fluid levels in your vehicle at home in minutes. Refer to the owner manual for more information on the appropriate levels, including how to check each fluid.
Alternatively, you can take the car to a mechanic and ask them to top any fluids off as and when required.
Replace Your Windshield Wipers
Your windshield wipers are actually blades used to wick water and debris away from your field of view. A high-quality pair of wipers will never leave streaks and clean your windshield thoroughly. Spray some water on your windshield and turn them on.
Streaks and low-quality cleaning mean you need a new pair of wipers. Thankfully, this is something you can replace yourself without visiting a mechanic.
Keep in mind that your windshield wipers also use fluid. Wiper fluid removes mud, dirt, and snow. The nozzles should spray your wiper fluid correctly while also having sufficient capacity.
Get a New Your Air Conditioning Filter
Air conditioning is crucial on a hot summer’s day. Avoid sticking to the seat by getting a new air conditioning filter. If your air conditioning fails to cool your car or you notice a restricted flow, it’s usually a problem with the filter.
These filters cost just a few dollars to buy and can be added by a mechanic or at home. Again, your owner manual will tell you how to access and replace an old filter.
Avoid Worn Belts and Hoses
The reinforced rubber drive belts found within your car’s engine block power the engine’s water pump and your air conditioning compressor and alternator. Perform a visual inspection of these belts for any signs of cracks, fraying, or glazing. These belts can and do snap without warning, but the initial warning signs are there.
Do the same check for radiator hoses. If they look worn, are soft, or become brittle, they should be replaced.
These are the checks you should perform before any road trip. High temperatures put a lot of stress on you and your car. The last thing you want is to find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere waiting for a tow truck.
Take the time to go over your car and check for any problems. Most standard car problems have warning signs to be aware of. Act on these warning signs and enjoy a great summer road trip.