Top Five Things to Check On Your Car Before A Long Trip
There is no doubt 2020 has brought a lot of unknown into our worlds and our holidays may look a little different this year. We understand family is important and many of you are still planning on seeing your family for the holidays…you may opt to drive instead of flying this year. We wish your family the safest and happiest travels this holiday season and want to provide some quick tips from the car care experts (us!). Here are the top five things to get checked and replaced (if needed) before hitting the road:
Top Five Things to Have Your Mechanic Check
It is no mystery why your vehicle’s brake system maintenance and functionality are so important. Before a long trip, you should have your brake pads checked and replaced, if necessary, to prevent unexpected system failure (a.k.a. brakes going out). Most brake pads last anywhere from 25,000 to 75,000 miles. Your mechanic can usually check the health of your brakes in less than an hour and most repairs or brake pad replacements can be done in just a few hours. It is a simple but very important component to a SAFE and worry-free road trip!
In most cases, the warning signs that you need a new battery are quite apparent – problems starting your vehicle, sputtering sound coming from under the hood, internal lights dim or not working. While a failing battery is usually easy to detect before it completely dies, it is also possible for batteries to give up on the spot without any warning signs. There are also other less-common issues besides dying that a battery can experience such as leaks or corrosion. These issues do not normally give off the same signs that a failing battery does. A proactive check of your battery life can prevent these unfortunate situations from happening to you. You do not want to find yourself stranded on the road with a bad battery, especially on a long trip where you may be in between metro areas and far away from the nearest auto repair shop.
When we mention “fluids” in terms of car care, most people immediately think of the oil…and most of us know the importance of regular oil changes; however, there are other fluids that are specific to certain mechanical systems in your vehicle that are important to check, as well. Before hitting the road, having ALL the fluids in your vehicle checked and refilled can help make sure all the important components are ready for the extended running periods that a long trip presents. Here are the fluids your mechanic should check for you before hitting the road:
- Brake Fluid (checking those brakes again…see the importance?!?)
- Transmission Fluid
- Power Steering Fluid
- Radiator Coolant
- Windshield Washer Fluid (you will need to clean the bugs off eventually)
The air filter in your car keeps dirt and debris from getting into your engine. The dirtier or more clogged your air filter is, the harder your engine will have to work to get air, making it easier to overheat and snowball into all sorts of other problems. Bottom line, keeping a clean air filter keeps your engine and all the other parts down the line clean and working efficiently.
Lights and Wipers
Simply enough, you want to make sure your headlights, fog lights, brake lights and windshield wipers are all in working condition. These components are very easy to replace yet, very important to a safe and happy road trip.
Vehicle Safety Tune-Up
Some additional safety tips that can make for a stress-free road trip:
- Check the condition of your spare tire and make sure you have the needed tools to replace a tire if you needed to (car jack, lug wrench, flashlight).
- Carry an emergency roadside kit with a blanket and medical supplies.
- Pack a case of water and some food.
- Pay attention to mile markers.
- Know or join a roadside assistance program. Save the phone number in your contacts.
Most auto repair shops will know exactly what to check if you tell them you are going on a road trip and want a full vehicle inspection. It is best to get your vehicle tuned up within a few days before leaving, so you know your vehicle is healthy and ready for the long haul.
Your safety is always our #1 priority. Now through the end of the year Greulich’s is offering a full travel rejuvenation for your vehicle INCLUDING INTERIOIR SANITIZATION for only $449. We will check, replace, repair and/or refill all the important components for your car (details here). Give us a call and ask for the Holiday Rejuvenation Special. We can get you right in and out on the same day in most cases!
Happy and safe travels from our family to yours!
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