Summers are made for the Great American Road Trip. Long days and short nights mean plenty of time for fun in the sun after driving to get there. Before you embark on your road trip, you need to make sure your vehicle is ready. Here is a maintenance checklist you can use to ensure your vehicle is up for the job.
Summer Road Trip Maintenance Checklist
Before you hit the road, you need to make sure your vehicle can handle being on the highway for many miles at once. You should start by checking these components under the hood:
✓ Engine Oil
When you’re going on a road trip, the first thing you need to do is check the oil. After you check your oil levels, notice the date you had your oil checked. There should be a sticker in the top left-hand corner of the windshield. If you do not have a sticker and are not sure when the last time you changed your oil was, have it changed to be on the safe side.
✓ Fluid Levels
The drive axle and transmission have unique lubricant systems, but you need to make sure both have a steady flow of fluids. Fluids that are clean and filled to the appropriate level help the car continue to run smoothly, especially on a long road trip.
Check the input and output hoses for the radiator as well as the hoses attached to the engine. Check to ensure these hoses are not hard. When hoses become hard, they can crack and begin to leak hot water.
When you are checking the engine belts, look for signs of friction by turning the belts sideways. Engine belts need to be replaced when they reveal fiber cords, become cracked, ragged or torn. If you are driving an older model car, the vehicle will have more than one belt that controls many different accessories for the vehicle, including power steering and air conditioning. Cars that are newer models will only have one belt for these accessories.
Vehicles with a battery that exceeds four years-old need to be checked for corrosion. If corrosion is present, Pepsi and a toothbrush can help remove it.
Have your brake fluid flushed if you have not done so in the last three or four years. Make note of the color of the fluid and how much is left. The fluid should be at or close to the full mark.
Where to Have Your Vehicle Serviced
Imported vehicles should be taken to a repair shop specializing in import auto repair. At Import Auto Repair, we can handle Mercedes repair, BMW service, BMW repair and service for other imported vehicles.