How to Prep Your Car for the Summer Trip
High on the short list of terrible things that can happen on a summer road trip – along with getting lost in a different state or forgetting your valuables in a rest stop bathroom – is having your mode of transportation fail on you. Car troubles are bad enough when they happen during your everyday life. Having something happen to your car while you’re on a road trip just compounds the frustration, fear and confusion. Here at Mr. Transmission, we want your summer vacationing to be as pleasant as possible, so the only screams you hear are ones of delight as your family spends time making memories, and not waiting for roadside assistance. Here are our tips for preparing your car for the rigors of the summer road trip.
1. Check fluid levels! This might seem like a massive checklist already, but the risk of something going wrong and damaging your car’s parts or leaving you stranded makes it worth checking every single item on this list. You should check your oil, transmission fluid, gasoline, antifreeze/ radiator coolant, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid and power steering fluid. You should also check the filters for your engine, transmission and gasoline for any tears or obstructions. Getting your fluids checked is probably the most important, because so many of these systems are mission-critical.
2. Then check your tires, hoses and belts! Your hoses and belts connect the systems in your car to each other and to the fluids they need to run properly, so they can’t be neglected. Be sure that your tires have at least 2/32 of an inch of tread on them and they are inflated enough. You can check the tread on your tires using a penny – if you stick a penny in between the treads and you can see Lincoln’s head, your tires don’t have enough tread on them. The number on the side of your tires is a maximum amount of air pressure, and during the summer, you want the actual air pressure in your tires to be close but not quite at that amount.
3. Make sure the A/C works! Any number of people stuck with each other in a sweaty, moving vehicle without any means of escape – it sounds like the beginning of a horror movie, or at least a really bad vacation story. Do your family a favor and don’t make them put up with summer discomfort. If your A/C isn’t pumping enough arctic air, get your refrigerant levels checked and your system tested before you all pile in the car.
The summer trip is an American standby, and it can either be the best part of the summer or a week of torture and car problems. Starting your trip without a car check-up is just asking for something to go wrong. So visit your local Milex or Mr. Transmission to make sure everything is running smoothly, and enjoy your quality time with your family this summer!