This summer is setting up to be a great one. As the quarantine starts to cool down and the weather heats up, there will be more and more people going outside and traveling. For our road trippers, your car is your lifeline and here at Houska Automotive, we want to make sure your vehicle is ready to run on the open road.
There are a few key things to check before taking off – some of which can be taken care of at home with an easy visual test. If maintenance tasks are too difficult to be completed our team is here to help, making sure your car runs smoothly for your adventures.
Let’s start with the most important maintenance check, your car battery. It is the most essential element of the car, as it has to do with everything related to the car’s functionality. Check for corrosion surrounding where the negative and positive cables connect to the battery and make sure the cables are secure. If there is corrosion around the connector head, then take a non-metal brush and scrub it off. If the cable clamp is loose, then take the appropriate size wrench and tighten it slightly. Do not strip the bolt and do not overtighten.
Topping off/checking your fluids is a close second when making sure your vehicle is ready to rock. First off, check the oil. Each car is different, so be sure to look at the owner’s manual before doing anything. If you’re familiar with the dipstick readings, pull the stick out when the car is not running, the engine is cold, and wipe it with a rag before you dip it back in. Pull it out to check the current oil level. This is where the owner’s manual will come in handy, there may be different points on the stick where the oil level should be. It all depends on your car. It’s also very important to check your power steering fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. These can all be checked with no action required, all it takes is a look at the side of the container holding each fluid and there will be designed marking for maximum and minimum levels.
Just like tying your shoes before you leave your house, you should check your tires and breaks before going on a road trip. Taking a quick peek and running your hands over the tire’s tread should do the trick. If you’re not sure about the amount of tread your tire has on it you can always perform the “Penny Test.” Read more about checking tires in our most last blog. When it comes to testing the brakes there are a few indicators they may need to be replaced. Squeaking or grinding noises, wobbling or vibrating while braking, a soft brake pedal, burning smell when driving, and lastly leaking brake fluid.
Finally, unless you’re an old–school cowboy or cowgirl who loves to drive with their windows down in the midst of summer, it is vital to check your air conditioning. Before it gets super warm, run your A/C and see if it’s working. Look for things like is it not getting cold enough, long to get cold, and the air not blowing at full strength.
This summer is setting up to be an amazing few months. Things are starting to open back up, and people are itching to get outside after being quarantined for so long. Don’t let your car hold you back from being a part of an epic summer and especially don’t let it hold you back from an incredible road trip. Do the proper maintenance check and if things aren’t running the way they should be, don’t hesitate to bring your vehicle down to Houska.