Imagine you’ve planned an incredible Christmas trip for yourself and your family — packed everything you need, decided where you want to go, and gathered together to set off. Everything is great, you and your loved ones are in a wonderful mood, but suddenly your car stops in the middle of the road, warning you that it needs to be fixed. Undoubtedly, this occurrence can make you get upset and nervous, especially if your car has a problem that requires being taken to a mechanic. This is an imaginary event, but it can actually become real for a lot of drivers who forget to check their car before a long trip. And this is the time when you understand how essential it is to look through your vehicle to ensure that everything works properly.
For maintaining your car’s high performance, you need to check your car regularly. Regular maintenance includes any maintenance task you do to determine and prevent any car issues that may cause equipment failure. But from where to start? Which parts of your vehicle should you check?
Here are helpful tips for you to consider before hitting the road to enjoy your Christmas trip the way you dreamed of. Consider checking all the below-mentioned points to make your trip enjoyable and your passengers happy.
Depending on where you live, you should change your tires into winter ones if the temperature is below 7 degrees Celsius. You can even opt for a mobile tire change for that to not lose any extra time in your busy day to go to the mechanic. Winter tires have rubber compounds, tread patterns, biting edges, and sips designed for better vehicle control on snowy and icy roads. Also, you need to have a spare tire as you don’t know what will happen on the road. You can keep your trip safe by replacing your damaged tire with a spare if it comes to that. Keep in mind that the tire is one of the most essential parts of your car as it keeps your car on the go. To reduce the risk of a blowout, tires must be properly inflated. Add air to your tires and ensure that your tire has the correct tire pressure which can be seen on a placard or in the owner’s manual.
It is essential to check your emergency kit, which contains all essential items for first aid, including medical scissors, tape, antiseptic wash, bandages, etc. It would be good if you have common medicines during long trips. Ensure that those haven’t expired. Having a flashlight with fresh batteries, warm gloves, hat, jumper cable, and other items in your emergency kit will ensure your peace of mind.
Engine Air Filter
The filter collects debris and dust, which can affect your car's acceleration performance. Air filters help to prevent dust and debris, or other environmental contaminants from entering your engine. Thus, replacing and changing them is essential whenever you find them dirty. To know the changing or replacing intervals, use the car owner's manual.
Ensure to replace any burnt-out bulbs with new ones. Moreover, if there are some issues regarding windshield wipers, replace them. It's recommended to replace them with a new pair every six months. Whenever you notice cracks, streaking, tears, rounded edges, and missed spots, then it’s time to replace your wiper blades.
Also, check the air conditioner. If it's not blowing, as usual, ensure to have it serviced by a technician.
If you find any odd noises coming from the car's brakes, take it to a mechanic before driving somewhere far. Those sounds may indicate that brake pads are worn out. When brake pedals are spongy, and the car takes longer time to brake than it used to, then ensure to check brake fluid level and fill it up if the level is low.
Before going on a trip, always check your car’s battery. Check your car’s battery a minimum of two times a year. Extreme cold weather may cause your car’s battery to die out. Whenever you notice that your car battery has some issues, take it immediately to a technician before heading out on your holiday road trip.
All Fluids Inspection
Fill your car’s liquids whenever the levels are low, including windshield wiper fluid, engine oil, power steering fluids, etc. Engine oil is a lubricator for your vehicle and prevents parts of your engine from wearing down quickly. Your car will get friction with low levels of oil, thus before embarking on a road, check the oil level. A dipstick will be used to check transmission fluid as well. Remove the associated covers and inspect each to determine the amount of brake fluid, coolant, power steering, and windshield washer fluids. Always check your car’s manual for any information.
Belts and Hoses
Checking belts and hoses are other important parts for making sure your car is in good condition. The hoses are essential for directing the coolant flow to prevent engine overheating. And belts are crucial for the proper operation of your vehicle. Always replace belts and hoses whenever you see signs of cracks to prevent your engine from any damage.
Inspect that belts are installed in a good way and hoses don’t have any leaks. You can check your car owner’s manual for replacing belts and hoses at the right time.
And last, but not least, clean your car to enjoy your trip to the fullest. Having some wipes and plastic bags will help you clean the surface from germs and avoid collecting trash.
Through regular maintenance of your car, you ensure that you’ve done your best to enjoy your trip. Instead of waiting for someone to come to help you, you can prevent such circumstances by checking all essential parts of your vehicle to ensure that it’s ready for the long-waited Christmas trip. Do light adjustments by yourself in your garage and take your car to a technician whenever you see any issues that you can’t fix by yourself. Check lights, tires, fluids, brakes, filters, and more before your Christmas road trip.