If it’s summertime, it means it’s time for a much-needed vacation. And like most of us, you’ve probably been waiting for this vacation much too long. You’ve already planned an itinerary and arranged for accommodation. You feel like you’re ready to go.
Not so fast! You still have to make sure your car is also ready. Although it’s predicted that there will be fewer people on the road because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it could be that many will avoid flying and choose traveling by car as the safer alternative.
We know you’re excited and can’t wait to get going, but a little bit of extra care now will keep you from having to deal with accidents and breakdowns.
Check Your Tires and Tire Pressure
You can start by inspecting your tires, including the spare tire. You’ll want to look for any cuts, gouges, or bulges on the sidewalls. In order to inspect tire tread, insert a quarter into the grooves. You’ll know you need new tires if you can see the top of George Washington’s head.
Make sure you check the tire pressure when your car has been idle for a while, and the tires have had a chance to cool down. Inflate them according to the manufacturer’s instructions in the owner’s manual, not the number on the sidewall of the tire.
Check the Brakes
Do you hear a grinding sound or feel a vibration when you use the brakes? Then you should have your car inspected by a qualified mechanic. They’ll check the pads, rotors, shoes, and rums and make sure there are no fluid leaks.
The braking system is vital to your safety. Making sure it works properly can save you from potentially tragic accidents.
If you are involved in an accident during your road trip, the first thing you want to do is check if anyone is injured and needs medical attention. Then call the police and file an official report. You’ll also need to get in touch with your insurance company.
If you believe the accident was caused by the other driver’s violation of traffic laws, you’ll want to look for a lawyer that can handle your specific case in the state where it happened – for example, you can search for truck accident attorneys in Houston, TX.
Check the Battery
When you check the car’s battery, make sure the hold-down hardware is secure and that the cable connections are clean and tight.
We recommend you have a qualified mechanic inspect it. They’ll check the battery’s remaining capacity, the charging system, and belts.
Check Belts and Hoses
The engine water pump and accessories like the alternator and air conditioning compressor are powered by drive belts made of reinforced rubber. You’ll need to check them for cracks, glazed areas, and fraying. Drive belts are generally replaced every 60,000 miles.
Inspect and repair any radiator hoses that are damaged, brittle, bulging, or unusually soft. Look for leaks near hose clamps, the water pump, and the radiator.
Top off Engine Oil and Other Fluids
To make sure your car is ready for a safe road trip, you need to fill its fluids to the recommended levels. Start with the engine oil and then check the brake, transmission, and power steering fluids. Choose products according to the manufacturer’s recommendations as written in your owner’s manual.