The wide blue sky and rugged scenery are beckoning. You packed your bags and are ready to hit the road. Or are you? Have you had your auto technician look over your vehicle to avoid mechanical difficulties? When you need a car check up before road trip, stop by Havoline® Xpress Lube of Kernersville.
7 Important Things To Check Before You Leave
Usually, many of us carefully choose outfits, shoes, and adventure gear when planning a trip. However, we often forget to check the most important thing: our vehicle. Yet, nothing will ruin a trip faster than having mechanical issues with your vehicle. Thus, before you leave, bring your car to Xpress Lube to inspect the following:
1. Car Battery
Generally, car batteries last between 3-5 years, usually dying at the most inconvenient time. Yet, it’s simple to have your auto technician check it before you leave. With a few simple tests, your mechanic can determine if your battery is in good condition or needs replacement.
2. Belts And Hoses
As your belt ages, it can become loose and slip. Sometimes, you can recognize this by a squealing noise from your engine. Worn belts have the potential to snap resulting in serious engine damage.
Additionally, you should inspect your hoses. Radiator hoses transport coolant to keep your engine cool and prevent overheating. Age and heat harden hoses making them susceptible to cracks and rupturing.
3. Check And Top Off Fluids
Both engine oil and coolant help keep your engine from overheating. You can easily check both these fluid levels.
For coolant levels, simply look at your reservoir tank when the engine is cold. The markings on the tank will tell you whether you need to add some. In addition, look at the color of your coolant. Although manufacturers make coolant in green, blue, orange, or red, healthy coolant should retain its original bright hue. A milky or cloudy appearance with particles floating in it means it’s time to change it.
To check your engine oil, you’ll also need a cold engine. Then, locate the dipstick and pull it out. After wiping the end off, insert it back into the tube slowly and push it all the way down. Pull it out once again, checking the level indicator at the bottom of the dipstick. Additionally, you should check the quality of your oil. Clean engine oil is amber and slightly translucent, turning darker as it ages.
Driving on worn or improperly inflated tires is not a great way to start your road trip. You may experience poor traction, lower fuel economy, and even a blowout. Be sure to check the pressure and rotate your tires. If your tires are wearing unevenly, you may want to also consider an alignment.
Driving habits are the biggest factor affecting the longevity of brake pads. Usually, experts recommend checking them every 6 months. Nothing can ruin your trip faster than your dashboard brake light illuminating.
6. Windshield Wipers
Usually, drivers don’t realize they need new windshield wiper blades until it begins to rain. Yet, old wiper blades can reduce visibility by smearing or streaking. Typically, if you notice the rubber edge has cracks or uneven wear, you need to replace your blades. Of course, remember to fill your washer fluid reservoir.
7. Air Conditioner
Dehydration is a real possibility when taking a road trip during sweltering conditions. Do yourself and your passengers a favor by checking your AC before you leave.
Emergency Preparation For Your Road Trip
Besides performing a car check up before road trip, you may want to have an emergency kit just in case. Having these items in your car can make a terrible situation endurable. Typically, you should include the following items in your kit:
- Jumper cables
- Reflective triangles
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Fire extinguisher
- Travel air compressor/properly inflated spare tire
- Duct tape
Car Check Up Before Road Trip – FAQs
Have some more questions about a car check up before road trip? We’d be happy to answer them! Call us at 336-993-7697 to talk to one of our friendly staff members. Below, we answer a few commonly asked questions.
What Should I Do If I Break Down During My Trip?
Even if you have your car checked before you leave, you may still experience vehicle difficulties. When a vehicle emergency arises, you should follow these steps to keep you safe:
- Put on your hazards
- Slow down and pull off the road
- Turn your wheels away from the road and engage your parking brake
- Set up your reflective triangles
- Call for help
Is A Check Up Necessary If I Perform Regular Maintenance?
Of course, routine maintenance is important to keep your car running optimally. However, you should still bring your vehicle in for an inspection a week or two before your road trip. Your auto technician can check over your vehicle to identify any problems. This can save you a trip to an unfamiliar auto repair shop while on your trip.
Should I Wash My Car Before I Leave?
Washing the outside of your car will remove accumulated dirt that can harm your paint and reduce your visibility. Moreover, cleaning the inside of your car ensures you have a comfortable driving experience.
Luckily, you can take care of your entire vehicle at Havoline® Xpress Lube of Kernersville. We employ ASE-certified mechanics and qualified technicians to service your vehicle. Additionally, we have a car wash and detailing service to get your car clean.
It’s easy to make an appointment. Call us at 336-993-7697 or use our online form.