Road trips are a great way to bond with your family and friends, and in the area, there are a number of ideal destinations such as the Smoky Mountains, Myrtle Beach and Atlanta. But before you hit the highway, it’s important to bring your vehicle to the auto experts for road trip maintenance and any necessary repairs.
The first things to do, according to Popular Mechanics writer Alex Leanse, is to check and top off your car’s six essential fluids. This includes the oil, which should be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles to reduce friction in the engine. Also check the coolant/antifreeze levels, power steering fluid, transmission oil and wiper fluid. Be sure to check the brake fluid as well — if it’s low, it’s a sign you may need new brake pads or rotors.
Next, check the tires. You’ll want to check the air pressure every 1,000 miles (see your owner’s manual for details on proper psi). Rotate the tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to redistribute wear, and replace the tires when the tread begins to go or if you notice cracking.
Belts and hoses should also be inspected for integrity and tightness, and if you notice leaks from the hoses or squeaking belts, it may be time for replacements. Also be sure to visually inspect the lights and change the air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles to ensure proper performance and fuel economy. You don’t want to be on a road trip and get bad gas mileage.
Before you set out on your road trip, schedule a maintenance check with our service department at Bradshaw Automotive.