With most schools finishing this week, and leading up to Memorial Day weekend. Lots of you will be looking to plan a road trip. Hotels will be booked, activities planned and everybody will be excited. The last thing you need is car trouble along the way. Here are a few minor maintenance issues to have a look over before going onto the road.
Check your tire pressure – pretty straightforward to do but very important. Depending on the distance you are planning to go, lots of highway miles can really add heat to your tires, especially in the heat we have here in Arizona. Most vehicle manuals recommend going slightly higher than usual if you are planning a long trip. Just to be safe. Its always worth having a spare tire too just for peace of mind more than anything.
Check Fluid levels– At Wilhelm, this is standard with every single Car Health Check. So if you have been serviced at one of our shops in the past, you are good to go. We check for things like; engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid and windshield wiper fluid. All are important with some of these requiring a special procedure to check. If you are unsure, call in and have things looked over to make sure you are all set.
Battery Maintenance – If it is possible, check the fluid in the battery to make sure it is not drained. If it is corroded, it could look a little like dry toothpaste. If this is the case then pull off all the cables and clean the terminals properly. Just in case, if you have access to jumper cables, this is never a bad idea. Again, better to be safe than sorry.
Lights and Wiper blades – Checking lights is easy, have a friend or spouse just verify your lights are all in good working order. Changing taillights with a trunk full of luggage can be a pain and so can shopping for new bulbs along your way, especially with some vehicle’s having unusual ones.
Electronics and music – a long road trip with kids can be stressful. Make sure all your devices are charged and ready to go with the necessary cables to charge. Its also nice to have music prepared, audiobooks or podcasts to make the journey more interesting.
Maps and GPS – most of this is done through our phones nowadays, so make sure again, your phone or GPS is charged and ready to guide you.
Tools – Wrenches, screwdrivers and anything like a normal toolbox can be helpful in tough situations. Also, a flashlight is absolutely vital. Having a flat at night can be a real pain if you are not prepared.
Vehicle papers – finally, its always a good idea to travel with your vehicles documentation to avoid any problems along the way. Also, if you have Roadside Assistance, make sure you have the correct number in case you run into any problems.
Happy Memorial Day to everyone, we hope you have a safe trip to wherever you plan to go.