Summer is well underway and road trips are on the minds of many. What isn’t on most people’s minds is taking the time to schedule an appointment for their car’s seasonal check-up, especially if there’s no “squeaky wheel” to trigger concern.
When you let too much time go by without proper vehicle care, cars have a way of reminding you that they need your attention. However, when that happens, it’s usually because you hear, see, smell, or feel something unusual. When it gets to that point, there could be additional costly damage done that might have been prevented with regularly scheduled maintenance.
Don’t let that happen to you, especially if you are planning a road trip this summer. You want to be able to depend on your car no matter where it takes you so here’s your Road-Ready Checklist:
- Fluids – There are a lot of moving parts to your car, and a lot of different types of fluid are needed to keep them smoothly running. So, in addition to your oil, the other list of fluids to check include: brake, transmission, windshield wiper, power steering, and radiator fluids.
- Filters – Clogged filters can damage your vehicle’s delicate systems and affect your performance and gas mileage. Your car’s various filters include: oil filter, engine air filters, cabin air filters, fuel filter, and your emissions filter.
- Tires – Make sure your tire’s air pressure is what the car manufacturer recommends (look in the car’s manual for the exact Pressure per Square Inch or PSI). Also check your tread by doing the “penny test.” Insert a penny into a center groove of your tire’s tread. Lincoln’s head should be upside down and facing you. The goal is to not see the top of Lincoln’s head. If you can, then that means your tire’s tread is less than 2/32 of an inch which indicates it’s time to get new tires.
- Brakes – Few things are scarier in a car than discovering a surprise obstacle or stopped car ahead of you on the road, especially if you are going at speed on the highway. When you have the need to stop abruptly, you need to make sure your car can accommodate. If your brakes are screeching, feel spongy, if the pedal goes all the way to the floor, or they’re not as responsive as they used to be, it may be time to get your brake system inspected and pads replaced.
- Bulbs – If your bulbs are old, they could be dim and unsafe. Your tail lights should be plainly visible up to 1,000 feet away, and your headlights should illuminate the road ahead of you at least 150+ feet. Headlights also need to be aimed properly with the driver’s beam being slightly lower than center so it doesn’t blind oncoming drivers, and the passenger’s beam slightly higher so you can better view road signs.
- Battery – A battery typically lasts 3 to 5 years, so if your battery is over 3 years old, you may want to get it tested to see how much life is left in it prior to heading out on a trip.
- Other – Additional items to visually inspect include your belts and hoses in the engine, and your exterior gas cap. If any of those items appear cracked, worn, or loose, it’s time to replace them.
If you are a car enthusiast with the ability to work on your own vehicle, then you could probably tackle the above checklist with ease. However, if you prefer to keep that “squeaky wheel” at bay and have all your car maintenance needs taken care of for you, then Kwik Kar is where you need to go. As a special bonus for you, this month we are offering a Road Trip Special (you can check out the offer below). Come on in and let us help you get your car Road Trip Ready so you can have peace of mind while traveling. We look forward to seeing you!