American families participate in many traditions when summertime rolls around, like heading to the swimming pool to cool off, to the local baseball diamond to catch a game, or hitting the amusement park to ride the roller coasters. These activities bring to mind another family ritual, the road trip. So whether it’s the family of four piling into the minivan to see the cousins, or the retirees climbing into the RV and steering for the mountains, or even the college kids packing into their parents’ borrowed SUV for a beach weekend, one thing is absolute certain. Without a properly serviced vehicle, the trip will be stalled before reaching the destination, and nothing is worse than breaking down in the blistering summer heat and throwing a wrench into your carefully scheduled plans.
Check It Before You Wreck It
Over 44 millions Americans were expected to travel at least 50 miles or more this year during the Fourth of July weekend alone. Adding the cost of gas, food, and lodging, these trips can come with a large price tag, but nothing like the cost of towing a stranded vehicle to the auto mechanic’s shop for repairs which could have been easily prevented. Here is a checklist of some of the most common problems motorists run into while journeying along to their favorite summer destinations.
Engine Oil: If your car is close to the manufacturer-recommended date or mileage for an oil change. Whether it’s conventional, high mileage, fully synthetic, or a synthetic blend, the right oil can keep your car running safely and efficiently, and keep your engine lubricated and protected from that gunky old oil buildup. The experts at Liberty Auto Centers, with locations in both Redland and Flower Hill, Maryland, will help you determine exactly what kind of oil is best for your car this summer.
Transmission and Power Steering Fluids: Don’t forget about the other fluids in your car’s reservoirs. The interval for changing transmission fluid is usually a little longer than for an oil change. Again, the auto technicians at Liberty can establish the current condition of your transmission and power steering fluids and determine if and when it needs to be replaced.
Engine Coolant: Check under your hood for that clear plastic bottle that says “Engine Coolant” on it. If it’s low it will need to be topped off, or if appears to a have a rust-like color it may need to be flushed and changed. Most new cars come equipped with engine coolant designed to last around 100,000 miles. Let the professionals at Liberty Auto Centers take care of all your coolant and radiator needs.
Tires: Moving now to the outside of the car. Tires are your contact with pavement, and losing that contact due to worn out tread or improper tire inflation can not only cause major and expensive damage to a vehicle but can be extremely dangerous. It’s not worth the risk. (A properly inflated car tire can also extend mileage and potentially cut down a lot on gas mileage. More money for that extra hot dog or ferris wheel ride.)
Brake System: Make sure your car engine’s brake fluid reservoir is topped off as well, unless it’s been a few years, in which case you’ll want to have it flushed and replaced. Have a specialist at Liberty Auto Centers check the brake pads, too. Poor brakes can obviously be just as dangerous as poor tire tread, and even more so when the two are combined.
Battery: Make sure the battery has a full charge and is clean of any chalky-white corrosion.
Lastly, be certain to take your car your car for a test run before barreling onto that open road. Once everything is checked out, hit the highway and have a honking good timeTags: Auto Check Up, Summer