A road winding up a hill next to a lake.

Summer Road Trip Car Maintenance Checklist

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Summer road trips can be lots of fun, but they can also quickly become a headache if your car breaks down. In this post, we’ll cover some key areas you should check before leaving for your summer road trip.

Change the Oil

Your vehicle runs on a lot of different fluids. Most of them need to be changed after a certain number of miles, including your engine oil. If you’re going to be driving a long distance for a road trip, it’s a good idea to change your oil before you go. Depending on how far you’re traveling, you may need another oil change after your trip. It’s also a good idea to check your other fluids, and change them or top them off as needed.

Test the Battery

The battery helps to start your car. Most car batteries last from 3 to 5 years. After that, they can start to lose their ability to hold a charge. Before your trip, test your battery and make sure it’s still in working order. You should also check the cable connections and make sure everything is tight and clean.

Inspect Belts and Hoses

Vehicles are full of different belts and hoses. The timing belt (or timing chain) helps your engine run. The serpentine belt powers different components, like your air conditioning, alternator, and power steering pump. The hoses connect to climate control systems, fuel lines, and power steering. All of these belts and hoses can wear out over time and use, so it’s important to check for leaks, cracks, or bulges and replace them as needed.

Check the Exhaust System

Your exhaust system removes combustion waste from your vehicle. It plays an important role in keeping you and your passengers safe from harmful gases. An exhaust system that’s running smoothly can also help to increase fuel efficiency. Before heading out on your trip this summer, have your car’s exhaust system checked to make sure everything is working properly. You can call Restored Auto, LLC to schedule an appointment for your exhaust checkup.

Adjust Steering and Suspension

Your steering system and suspension are both responsible for keeping your ride smooth and moving in the right direction. If you notice any bouncing or swaying while you drive, it may be an indicator that one of these systems is having a problem. Before you go on a long trip, it’s important to check your steering and suspension for loose parts, damaged shocks or struts, broken or worn-out mounts, and other parts in need of repair.

Inflate Tires and Check Alignment

It’s a good idea to check your car’s tires and alignment before a long trip. Make sure your tires are properly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI (this is located in your owner’s manual and along the driver’s side door jamb). Check your tires’ tread depth, too. One way to check is by using a penny. You can stick it in the tread with Abraham Lincoln’s head facing the tire. If part of his head is covered by the tread, you’re okay. If, however, you can see his whole head, it’s probably time for new tires. You should also have your alignment checked, especially if you notice your car veering off to one side or uneven wear on your tire treads.

Check the Brakes

Brakes are important for maintaining safe speeds and stopping. Your brake pads will wear down over time. Brake fluid can also leak if there’s a problem with your brakes. Because your brakes are such an important part of your car, it’s vital to have them checked before you leave for a road trip. The mechanics at Restored Auto, LLC can examine your brakes for damage and replace your brake pads to keep you safe this summer.

Check the A/C and Cabin Filter

Your car’s air conditioner is especially important in the summer. Before you drive to the beach or head to a cabin, you’ll want to make sure your air conditioner is in working order. You can test your A/C by going for a drive and running it. If there’s little to no cool air, you may need some maintenance done. It’s also a good idea to have your cabin filter changed before a long trip. Keep cool and breathe clean air by having your car serviced at Restored Auto, LLC before your summer road trip.

Change the Wiper Blades

Your windshield’s wiper blades are important for maintaining visibility while driving. You should check your wiper blades before you leave on a trip. Summer rain can start at the drop of a hat, so it’s important to make sure your wiper blades are in good shape. You should also check your windshield washer fluid and refill it if needed. If you’re traveling somewhere with a lot of insects, you can get a bug wash formula to help clear your windshield.

Call Restored Auto, LLC for your summer vehicle maintenance.

Before you head out for your summer road trip, call Restored Auto, LLC. We can run diagnostics, check all of these areas (and more), and make sure your car is ready for travel. Don’t get stuck at a gas station or rest stop in the middle of nowhere. Call us today to schedule your road trip checkup.

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