Summer Travel: Pre-Road Trip Checklist

Summer Travel: Pre-Road Trip Checklist

Summer Travel Tips from Foothill Auto Service in Cameron Park, CA

Summer is here and that means road trip season is upon us! Before heading out on your summer road trip adventures it’s important to make sure your vehicle is up to the task. We’ve put together this simple pre-road trip checklist to help ensure that your summer travel plans go off without a hitch and you and your friends and family safely reach your road trip destination.

  • Step 1: Check your vehicle’s oil level and mileage to determine when your vehicle is due for its next oil change. If you’re getting close or are due for an oil change make sure to schedule one before hitting the road. Your car’s oil should be changed every 3,000-10,000 miles depending on the make and model of your vehicle. You can find the exact intervals for your vehicle in your vehicle handbook.  The oil in your vehicle acts as a lubricant and cooling agent for the many moving part of your engine. The filter catches dust, dirt, and debris that can find its way into your vehicle’s system.  By following your cars recommend oil change intervals you’re helping to ensure your car’s engine continues to run and operate smoothly.
  • Step 2: Check your vehicle’s fluid levels. Take care to check coolant, power steering, and even wiper fluid. Coolant levels are especially important to check during the warmer months. When topping up your vehicle’s coolant level remember that not all vehicles use the same type of coolant. You can find out what type of coolant your vehicle requires by checking your vehicle handbook or by visiting your local parts store. If your vehicle’s coolant looks cloudy or rust colored it may be time to have your coolant replaced. Some newer vehicles are designed to go 100,000-150,000 miles before needing to have their coolant replaced buts it always a good idea to check your levels before hitting the open road.
  • Step 3: Always check your tire pressure and tire treads before embarking on any road trip. If you have any concerns about your tires integrity you should make an appointment to visit your local tire shop. It’s also important to know that the tire pressure listed on the side of the tire is the maximum tire pressure and not the recommended pressure. You can find the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle on the driver’s side door or inside your vehicle’s handbook.
  • Step 4: If your car battery is more than a few years old it may be a good idea to have your battery tested before you take any long trip. The last thing any of us want is to be stranded with a dead battery. You should also check your battery terminals for signs of corrosion or loose leads. When it comes to your vehicle’s battery being proactive is the best stance.
  • Step 5: Have your brakes checked if you are noticing squeaks or vibration when breaking. Brake squeaks can sometimes be caused by dust or dirt on the brake pad which is a quick and easy fix. Other times it may be an indicator that it is time to have your brake pads replaced. Vibration when braking can be a sign of warped rotors. Your mechanic may be able to machine your rotors if they are still within safety parameters.
  • Step 6: Replace wiper blades if needed. Even in the summer months, you may need to use your wipers. Dirt and grim build up on our windshields and can affect our vision causing a safety hazard. Before heading out make sure your wiper blades are in working order and that your wiper fluid (Step 2) if topped up.
  • Step 7: Make sure your AC system is in working order. With triple digits temperatures, it is important to keep you and your family cool during your summer road trip. Your mechanic may recommend replacing your cabin air filter. This filter cleans the air before entering your heating and cooling system.

We hope you found this pre-road trip checklist helpful. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a service, or safety inspection before your next road trip please give us a call. From everyone at Foothill Auto Service we hope you have a fun and safe summer!

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