26 May Is Your Car Road Trip Ready?
With the gradual opening of California in the next coming weeks, we anticipate many of you will be hitting the road for your first summer #roadtrip. We can’t offer a 100% guarantee that life will run smoothly, particularly in a post-COVID world, but with the following tips you can make sure your car does!
- Test your battery: Did you know that heat is the number one cause of battery failure? Summer heat is known to increase the rate of fluid loss, resulting oxidation of battery components., which can leave you stranded without warning.
- Get your oil and oil filter changed, especially if your last oil change was awhile ago. Remember that intense weather conditions of any kind (cold, hot, or rainy) can put extra demands on your oil and your oil filter. Your oil works to keep your engine parts lubricated while the filter works to capture harmful debris, dirt, and metal fragments that have wrangled their way into the oil system. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power. A clean filter means more material gets picked up. More material getting picked up means cleaner oil. Cleaner oil means a happy engine!
- Double-check your fluid levels. Seasonal weather changes can lead to low transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, and even windshield wiper fluid, so check them all! Coolant fluid, in particular, is an especially important one to keep an eye before the heat of the season. The main purpose of the coolant in your engine is to remove the excess heat through the radiator. According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, the greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating.
- Check your tires: After the winter and spring traveling, hitting hidden potholes and encountering difficult road conditions, your tires are begging for a good check-up. Outside temperature can affect tire pressure. Make sure your tires (including your spare!) are properly inflated before hitting the road for a big summer road trip, because tires with low air pressure tend to wear out much more quickly. Firestone offers an online resource for finding your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure.
- Check your alignment. If your car pulls to one side, your steering wheel vibrates, or your steering wheel isn’t centered when you’re driving straight, get your vehicle’s alignment checked out. Alignment can be thrown off by run-ins with those dreaded pot holes, rough roads and curbs; but it can also be altered due to general wear and tear. Proper alignment can not only help extend the life of your tires, it could even save you some money at the gas pump. A quick check-up can let you know if your car is due for an alignment service.
- Get your brakes inspected. Is there any other safety feature more important than our brake systems? Between winter road conditions, rush hour traffic or even sheltering-in-place, your brakes may need some fine tuning. Make sure to check the brake system to ensure the connection is clean, corrosion-free and tightened.
- Check you Gas Cap: check your gas cap to ensure it is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from evaporating or spilling out.
We are looking forward to the gradual reopening of California as more family and friends hit the road for a post shelter-in-place road trip! Remember, with more cars on the road, the more likely an accident might occur. Should you have a mishap on the road, Kniesel’s is just a phone call or click away!