Get Ready For Those Summer Car Trips
Posted on May 28,19 by cccadmin
Your vehicle will be where you spend the bulk of your time during your journey, so make sure all its functions are fine-tuned and operating at maximum performance levels.
Fluids. Check all levels: oil, coolant, brake, and windshield-washer fluids. Inspect powersteering and transmission fluid levels, if applicable. If you’re taking a long trip, schedule a service appointment to double-check these levels.
Hoses. Squeeze hoses with your thumb and forefinger near clamps—that’s where they can be weakest from wear. Feel for soft or mushy spots. A good hose will be firm but bendable. Look for parallel cracks around bends; a hardened, glassy surface (which indicates heat damage); or abrasive damage. Have damaged hoses replaced.
Belts. Heat, oil, ozone, and abrasion can take a toll on belts. Look for cracks, fraying, and splits, as well as signs of glazing. Replace worn belts.
Air filter. Remove the filter and hold it up to a strong light. If you don’t see light, the filter is dirty enough to need to be replaced. A clean air filter helps the engine run better.
Radiator. Look through the grill and be sure the radiator is clear of any obstructions.
Battery. Make sure the terminals and cables are securely attached, with no corrosion. If the battery has removable caps, check its fluid level—especially in warmer climates. Top off as needed with distilled water.
Wipers. Based on CR tests, windshield wipers last about six months. If they’re a few months old, consider replacing them before a long trip. If the wipers are newer, clean the blades with washer fluid or glass cleaner.
Tires. Check the pressure on all tires, including the spare, before starting the trip. Use the
pressure recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer, which usually can be found on a front doorjamb and in the owner’s manual. Inspect tires for abnormal or uneven wear, cracks, cuts, and any sidewall bulges. Replace tires that are 10 years old or overly worn. Once underway, check the pressure only after the tires have cooled for 3 hours to get an accurate measurement.
Brakes. You might need a comprehensive checkup if you apply the brakes and there are grinding noises, or unusual vibrations in the brake pedal or steering wheel, or if the vehicle pulls to one side.
Glove box. Be sure you have up-to-date registration and insurance paperwork.
Lights. Check exterior lights, including taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and fog lamps. Make sure lenses are clean, so the lights are as bright as possible.
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