Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and with summer comes road trips. Summer vacations, long weekends and trips to see family while the kids are off school and the weather is nice. Before you head off on those anticipated road trips, you want to make sure that your vehicle will be ready for the miles you are about to put on. Here are a few items you should check over before heading down the road.
There are a lot of fluids in your vehicle that work to lubricate systems, but none is more important than oil. Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle and you want to make sure that your oil is full and that is it not old, broken down and full of impurities. You want to regularly maintain your vehicle by changing the oil and filter based on your mileage. Before you head out on the road, check your mileage and see where you are in your maintenance schedule. If you are in the middle of your maintenance schedule and feel comfortable with the mileage you will be adding, you should still check the oil level and color on the dipstick.
While Oil is the main fluid to check, there are a few other fluids that should be checked to make sure the vehicle is ready for a long trip. Check your Coolant levels, the last thing you want to do, is end up with your vehicle overheating. Check Transmission Fluid. This is frequently overlooked but helps the transmission shift through the gears smoothly. Check the brake fluid as well as the power steering fluid. Lastly, this may sound trivial, but you will want to make sure that the washer fluid is topped off. Should you hit any weather, pollen or dust, you will want to make sure that you can clean the windshield in order to see clearly.
Tires are very important to maintaining the safety of your vehicle. They are the only part of the vehicle that comes in contact with the road. Check over your tires and make sure there are no punctures, bulges or strange wear patterns. Make sure that you still have a good amount of tread. A good rule of thumb is to place a penny upside down in the tire tread and you want it to cover Lincoln’s hair. Also, check to make sure that all of the tires are properly inflated. You can find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle on the sticker inside the driver’s door. You should not follow what is on the tires, that is the maximum pressure for that tire.
Something small and trivial, can cause a lot of issues during a road trip. Should you run into any weather during the trip, you will want to make sure that you have proper working wiper blades so that you will be able to see clearly.
Being able to see and be seen is very important for your safety when driving both at night or during and weather. Check over all of your lights, including both regular and high beams for your headlight, both side blinker lights, and have someone help you check the brake and reverse lights. Most vehicles have a third brake light, so make sure that all or working correctly.