How to Prepare Your Vehicle for a Long Summer Trip
With summer already here, many of us are planning on taking a well-deserved vacation or going on a summer road trip. Since warmer temperatures have arrived, now is the time to make sure your vehicle is in prime running condition and ready for all the adventures this time of year seems to bring. Heat can affect how your car performs – everything from the tire pressure to the car’s paint job can be damaged by the heat. Here are some tips to keep your vehicle protected this summer.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Since long-distance road trips are sometimes inevitable this time of year, it is important to make sure your vehicle is up on its regular maintenance requirements. Now is a great time to do regular maintenance tasks like oil changes, fluid checks, air filter, and oil filter changes. Making sure these maintenance items are taken care of regularly can help the performance of your vehicle and improve the gas mileage – with the high prices of gas this summer, you will want your tank to last as long as possible.
Regularly Check Fluids
Coolant, windshield washer fluid and motor oil are all items that car owners can check on their own. During the warmer summer months, making sure your vehicle has the proper level of engine coolant, also known as antifreeze. Many modern vehicles have a closed system specifically for coolant, making checking its levels and topping it off very easy. It is important to always check your vehicle’s user’s manual and never open the radiator or coolant tank cap when the engine is still hot.
Keep the AC Running
Many drivers try to use their air conditioning as little as possible during the summer months since it often has a negative effect on their fuel economy. What drivers may not know, however, is that running the air conditioning with all the windows up helps to improve the car’s aerodynamics, not to mention it helps keep the driver and passengers cool while also preventing driver fatigue on long trips. Make sure to have your air conditioning system checked annually, ideally before the hottest month of the year.
Preparation and regular maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicle in tip-top performance during the hottest summer months and all year round. By completing routine maintenance regularly, checking fluids often and having your air conditioning system checked on a regular basis your car will be able to better manage the higher temperatures and run at its best for those long drives to your vacation destination or the road trips that will take you hundreds of miles this summer!
If you have a teen driver that is getting ready for his or her license, why not book Behind the Wheel Training with Training Wheels Driving School. Now maybe mom and dad can take a rest while your teen driver takes the wheel on the next family vacation! For more information about our driving lessons, please click here.
*Photo Courtesy of Caitlin Regan via Creative Commons License