We rely on our vehicles more now than ever. Whether it be to get to work, take the kids somewhere, to run errands or a much longer road trip - you need your vehicle running smoothly and safely.
Now you can’t always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. Let’s look at some of the auto maintenance related problems you might encounter on a road trip and what you might do to avoid them.
It all starts with a thorough trip inspection by HUB TUNE UP. Let’s talk about some of the items on the trip inspection checklist.
TIRES - Of course, you can’t always avoid a road hazard that leads to a flat, but you may be able to head off some maintenance-related tire problems.A good tire inspection will start with looking over the condition of each tire itself. Are there signs of uneven tire wear? Are the tires properly inflated? Is the tread worn to the point that the tire should be replaced? The answers to these questions help us to recommend solutions.
BRAKES - Your brakes should also be inspected based on the manufacturer’s recommendation (or as necessary for function) to determine how much life is left in your brake pads. You’ll also want to know if it’s time to service your brake fluid. Over time water and contaminants make their way into your brake fluid and the system needs to be flushed, cleaned and filled with fresh fluid.
SUSPENSION SYSTEM - While looking under your car, your auto technician should also inspect your suspension system for worn or damaged parts. If you need new shocks or struts, you’ll really notice the difference on your trip once you have them replaced.
THE COOLING SYSTEM - It may be time for a coolant exchange or flush. These services remove old fluid that has become corrosive and replaces it with fresh, clean fluid that restores the effectiveness of your cooling system. The cooling system inspection will reveal leaks and weakened hoses. Replacing worn parts may be needed. Even though cooling system failure is fairly common, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to prevent with proper maintenance.
YOUR TRANSMISSION SERVICE - This is very important before a road trip because transmission problems tend to take some time and a lot of money to get fixed. Dealing with transmission problems is not how you want to spend your vacation.
BELTS - Your technician should also inspect your belts to see if they should be replaced. A failed belt is at best an inconvenience.
EXHAUST SYSTEM - You also should give your exhaust system the once over to make sure there aren’t any dangerous leaks that could harm you and your passengers.
Of course, there are the usual things that are part of a regular maintenance check up: OIL CHANGE, ENGINE AIR FILTER, FUEL SYSTEM CLEANING OR A ROUTINE TUNE UP. If you need any of these things, get them done today – they improved fuel economy which will help your wallet!
If your HEATER OR AIR CONDITIONING isn’t working as well as you’d like, let your technician know. They can easily check to make sure your heater and air conditioning systems are working properly. On a hot or cold day, these necessary comforts can make or break your drive!
Some important items that are often overlooked are POWER STEERING SERVICE, DIFFERENTIAL SERVICE and TIMING BELT replacement. If these things don’t ring a bell, have your technician check to see if they’re due and show you what can happen when any of these services are not performed as recommended by the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.
CAN YOU SEE? Replace your windshield wipers if they aren’t working well. And don’t forget your headlamps. They gradually lose their brightness and you don’t even realize it. Many people replace their lamps once or twice a year.
ALL THE ITEMS mentioned are part of any GOOD VEHICLE MAINTENANCE PLAN. These are things that you want to take care of, but they are even more important as you plan for a trip or daily driving. They’ll always save you money in the long run, extend the life of your vehicle and may prevent inconvenient delays on your travels.
We are here to help you, so we can work with you to ensure the proper attention is being given to your vehicle based on your individual needs and your vehicles' needs. Stop in today and we can help you cut through the jargon and see what works for you!