It’s official: summer is here. For many, that means road trips. Even if your travels don’t take you far and wide, here are eight items to check out so your summer fun isn’t interrupted.
Oil and Filter Change - Vehicles today are largely trouble-free, and when stuff works, it can be easy to forget about it. Have your engine oil and oil filter changed, especially if you are planning any long trips or towing.This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Brakes - While you’re getting your oil changed, have your brakes inspected. Problems such as pulsing, pulling to one side during braking, noises, and increased pedal travel are all signs that your brakes require service. Even if your brakes are performing well, regular visual inspections by a qualified technician can head off potential problems and unnecessary repair expenses. For example, replacing brake pads before they start squealing or wear completely out can prevent rotor damage and save you money. More than that, your safety on the road depends heavily on your vehicle’s brakes.
Tire Rotation - Your tires have to be removed to inspect the brakes anyway, so now’s a great time to have them rotated. Rotating the tires will even out the wear of the full set, so you get the most predictable handling and performance and the longest tire life. It’s also a good way for a technician to look closely at each tire, to check for uneven wear, which could indicate the need for suspension repairs or an alignment, plus dry rot and other physical damage that could leave you stranded at the worst possible time. Remember to have your spare checked, too.
Battery - While a lot of battery trouble tends to happen in the colder months, you’re not immune to battery failure during the summer. Be sure the cables are tightly connected, free of any corrosion and in good condition. Some batteries require maintenance, usually checking the level of fluid and adding some if necessary.
Engine filters - Engines need to breathe. Make sure yours gets all the clean air it needs by having your air filter inspected and changed if necessary. Other filters, including the cabin air filter if your vehicle has one, should be checked and/or replaced according to the maintenance schedule in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. You’ll get the best performance and economy from your vehicle if it can breathe freely.
Wipers and Lights - To get where you’re going, you have to be able to see. Wipers are inexpensive insurance, especially since most drivers don’t think about their wipers until they need them the most. The middle of a downpour is not the time to find out your wipers have turned into smearers and you can’t see a thing. Checking the lights is as easy as turning them on and walking around the vehicle. Make sure the headlamps and taillamps all work, and remember to check the function of front and rear turn signals, brake lights, and reverse lights and even the license plate lamps.
Air Conditioner - If your air conditioner loses its cool, so will you and your passengers, as Murphy’s Law dictates it will happen on the hottest day of the year. Even if your AC is working well now, system components should be checked for wear, leaks and proper refrigerant levels. It seems backward, but a system without enough charge will ice up and you’ll get zero relief, so take the opportunity now to make sure you stay cool and comfortable.
For most cars, a check of these items is a simple, quick task your service department can easily accommodate. A little attention now is worth it, because it will help you stay on top of your vehicle’s condition and avoid the frustration and inconvenience of trouble down the road.