Is Your Car Road Trip Ready?

With the world finally re-opening, you and your family are ready to hit the road, but is your car?

Modern day automobiles are great machines, but they still require some TLC to ensure quality performance.  Just because your car hasn’t put on too many miles over the past 18 months doesn’t mean that it’s not ready for maintenance service.

Even without much time on the road, time itself can greatly impact the pressure of your tires and the quality of the fluids in your vehicle including the oil.

The top seven things to consider before taking off for a long weekend are:

  • Fluids: Your car has six essential fluids that should be fresh and full at all times: radiator fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid.
  • Tires: Properly inflated tires with an adequate amount of tread remaining are imperative to the safe operation of your vehicle and can also improve fuel efficiency and the comfort of your ride.
  • Brakes: Worn brake pads usually make themselves known with a loud squealing noise.  If you hear any odd noises when you apply your brakes, it’s time to have them inspected.
  • Filters: Your car has four main filters: the cabin air filter, oil filter, fuel filter, and air filter.  These filters can become clogged with dirt and debris, so it is essential to have them changed as part of your regular maintenance to prevent any performance issues with your vehicle.
  • Light Bulbs: From the headlights to the taillights, your vehicle’s lights ensure that you are visible even at night or in inclement weather and they also allow you to communicate with other driver’s on the road if you are taking a turn or slowing down.  Plus, having a light out is the fastest way to get pulled over.
  • Battery: If the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, then the battery is the powerhouse of the passenger vehicle.  So many components and systems depend on electricity from the battery, and hot weather is known to put extra strain on the battery.  If you notice corrosion on the battery or begin experiencing dim headlights or a clicking ignition, you will want to have your battery tested to see if it’s time for a replacement.
  • Belts and Hoses: Belts and hoses play a pivotal role in your car’s steering, fuel system, and cooling systems which is why it is vital that they maintain the proper tension and are free from any cracks or tears.

At Wilton Auto and Tire Center, our recommendation is always to bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance, starting with an old-fashioned oil change that will come with a courtesy 36-point inspection to help uncover any lurking or hidden problems that may put a damper on your road trip.

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Written by Wilton Auto and Tire Center