The season of tank tops, flip-flops and summer vacations is here again! Bring on that long-awaited summer adventure. However, to ensure your summer road trip is unforgettable for all the right reasons, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re properly prepared before hitting the road.
As nothing will ruin your perfect summer holiday faster than a lack of pre-trip preparation that leaves your car stranded on the side of the road. Here are six, ‘must-do’ pre-trip maintenance checks.
AC & Cooling system
Your AC system has probably been dormant during the cold season. During this period, germs and bacteria can develop inside the system – causing bad odor. Left untreated, it can even be harmful to your health. Have your AC system cleaned and a new filter installed. Also have the hoses checked for softness and leaks. Get the radiator cap checked for deterioration and any other signs of component corrosion – and of course make sure the coolant is topped up.
Engine air filters
Check your air filters to see if they’re filled with dirt and grime. A dirty filter will absolutely hurt engine performance and fuel economy. A fresh filter will ensure your engine breaths properly.
Hoses and belts
Broken belts and burst hoses are a major cause of breakdowns on long road trips. Check them for wear, cracking and deterioration. They’re cheap and easy to replace – if they’re more than a few years old, better to be safe than sorry.
You don’t want a dead battery in the middle of nowhere! Clean up the terminals if they’re corroded and check the water levels – only fill with distilled/de-ionized water. Batteries don’t last forever. They’re typically date-stamped when installed, if its more than five years old – buy a new one, as its days are numbered.
Underinflated and over inflated tyres are bad news for a whole host of reasons. Correct tyre pressures are listed on your tyre placard. Look at your tyre’s tread-wear indicators (the small bars/ribs evenly spaced around the tyre, which bridge the tread’s grooves). If the tread is worn down to the point where its flush with the tread wear indicator – that tyre must be replaced. Also scan each tyre to look for signs of sidewall damage.
Does your brakes feel funny or make weird noises? The brake fluid may need topping up (maximum fill height is indicted on the reservoir/s). A long way from home during the holiday season is the worst to time run out of brake pad material. Get the pad wear checked and replace them if they’re low.
There are a host of other little things you can do to help make sure that idyllic summer holiday is idyllic has you dreamed. Giving your car a thorough clean will make it a nicer place to spend time. While clean glass and clean headlights will provide optimum daytime and night time vision. Even more importantly drive carefully, rest regularly, don’t drive when you’re tired and stay alert!
To ensure your car’s ‘Ship-Shape’ for that summer road trip, we suggest getting it inspected by an endorsed EuroMechanica workshop. Head to our workshop locator to find the closest one to you – and make a booking today!
Happy holidays from EuroMechanica!