Summer is at our front door and many people are planning their summer road trips. You will want to give a little extra attention to your vehicle and understand the things to check before driving long distances. Summer’s heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take a toll on your vehicle. Also, after surviving a harsh winter, car service is crucial to make sure you have peace of mind that your car is in good operating condition as you roll down the road.
The service tips below will provide you with dependable and safe transportation throughout the hot summer months:
- Air Conditioning — Have the system examined by a certified A/C technician to make sure it is working properly to keep you cool.
- Radiator — The radiator should be completely flushed and refilled with the right antifreeze/water mixture about every 24 months to make sure it is keeping the engine cool. It’s a good idea at every change of season to check the level, condition, and quality of the coolant as well as the tautness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses.
- Oil – Change the oil and oil filter as specified in your manual. If you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer, you may need to change the oil more often.
- Engine Performance — Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended, especially if driving in dusty and dry conditions. If the engine is having driveability problems (such as hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.), have it inspected and repaired as well.
- Windshield Fluid and Wipers — Replace worn blades and fill up the windshield washer reservoir.
- Lights – Replace all burned out light bulbs, both interior, and exterior. Clean the dirt and insects from all lenses.
- Tires – Rotate your tires on time (about every 5,000 miles). Check tire pressure, tread life, uneven wearing, cupping, and nicks or cuts on the sidewalls. Don’t forget to check the spare tire and be sure the jack is in good condition. If there’s uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side, be sure to have the alignment and balance checked.
- Brakes — Brakes should be inspected and corrected promptly, especially if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or a required longer stopping distance.
- Battery – Make sure it can hold a charge, clean away any corrosion from posts and cable connections and tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level.
- Emergency Kit — Be sure to carry some basic tools in your vehicle in case you get stranded, including a first aid kit, flares, a flashlight, water and snacks, blanket, and cell phone charger.
Have questions about the things to check before driving long distances? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Dependable Car Care for more information about summer car service and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in the community of Ventura, CA, and surrounding area.