Before you begin a road trip this summer in or around North Carolina, you’ll want to make sure your car is in the best possible shape before venturing out. What starts out as a minor car problem can quickly become a nightmare after driving hundreds of miles. Even if you are not super car savvy, there are a few simple things can you can do to ensure your car is up for the challenge of the open road.
Read Your Vehicle Manual
While it may not be an exciting read, your car owner’s manual is one of your best sources of specific information regarding your car. You want to be aware of the maintenance schedule of how often certain parts should be replaced and services should be performed. Following this schedule can save you unneeded breakdowns and big repair bills. Furthermore, keeping a maintenance record of when and what you have done to your car can help remind you and stay on top of your car’s needs.
Change Your Car Engine Oil
Staying on top of your oil changes is one of the best things you can do to care for the longevity of your car. The recommendation of most cars is to have the oil changed every three months, or 3,000 miles. Most shops put a sticker on your windshield of when your car is due to be serviced again. While some shops will try to upsell you extra services at this time, knowing your car’s maintenance schedule will help you stay on top of what you really need done right away.
Check Car Fluid Levels
While you may not feel comfortable changing every fluid in your car, you don’t need to be a car expert to be able to check your fluid levels. Most fluids in your car can be checked by merely pulling out a dipstick to see if the fluid is near the FULL line. If it is low, simply fill it up.
Other fluids are in containers that can be visually inspected to see if the fluid levels are low. Your car’s manual will tell you what’s where, how to check it, and what levels are right. Most important in summer is your car’s engine coolant. Make sure this is topped off, especially before hitting the road for any summer driving during hot months.
Replace Your Windshield Wipers
If your wipers are starting to streak on your windshield, it is time to replace them. Getting caught in a rainstorm is a horrible time to remember that you didn’t change them yet. You can buy new wipers at any auto store or big box store, and the directions for how to change them out can be found either in your car manual or on the wiper box.
Check Your Tire Condition
Checking your tires’ inflation and wear before doing any long distance driving is important for both your safety and the upkeep of your car. Check the air pressure in each tire when your car is cold and compare it to what your car’s manual says is the appropriate pressure.
Also, give your tires a physical inspection for anything that jumps out. If the tread on your tires is worn, they likely need to be replaced. If the tread is unevenly worn from tire to tire, your car could need an alignment. Furthermore, if the tires are out of alignment, your car may pull to the right or left when you drive. Whether you need one tire replaced or all four, take your car to a trustworthy auto repair shop for replacement, rotation, or balancing. Correcting tire issues can mean better gas mileage and more savings.
If anything has been concerning you about how your car drives or is running, your safe bet before taking it out on a road trip is to have a reputable shop give your car a good once over. Foreign Accents has a reputation built over 40 years of excellent care. Ask us to inspect your vehicle before your hit the road for your next adventure. Contact Us or call us at 336.294.2137