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How to Properly Prepare Your Car for a Summer Adventure


Published May 22, 2019

With summertime on the horizon, itís about time to find those water inflatables, dust off your hiking boots, or check the expiration dates on your sunscreen. Sure, itís fun to think of unique places to visit and fun activities for the summer holidays but they all require reliable transportation to attend. You may want to think about now how to properly prepare your car for your spring and summer adventure so that itíll be ready to go when you are.

Tire Inflation

First, think about checking your tiresí air pressure and tread. How often do you check your tires? Do you always keep them properly inflated? Have you read your car userís manual to determine the proper air pressure for your tires?
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Tire Tread

How about checking the tread? A quick way is to use a penny to check if the tread is too worn on a tire. Put the penny upside down along the tread to see if there is enough to cover Lincolnís head on the penny. If you can see the top of his head, then you are going to have to schedule an appointment at the tire shop to replace tires. If the head is covered, then you have at least 2/32 inch of tread remaining that might mean you donít have to replace your tires immediately.

Note that you really should have more than 4/32 inch of tread for the most effective tires, so the Lincoln test is showing you the bare minimum.

Do you see uneven wear on your tires? Do you take the time to rotate and balance them? If not, head to the dealership before your road trip so that you can get more even wear on your tires. In addition, if the tire seems to be barer on the right vs. the left or vice versa, then you may need a wheel alignment.

Brakes

Before you take off on a long trip, think about your brakes. Do you hear squeaking? If so, take your car into the mechanic to see what might be going on if the squeaking is constant. Might the brakes need a change? If so, ask the mechanic to check the rotors as well because these might not be automatically changed during a brake change. Sometimes rotors donít always need to be changed but they can be lathed to make them work better.

General Maintenance

While at the mechanic, ask them to do a checkup on the car. Some people choose to ignore their check engine lights but your driverís manual will indicate that a routine checkup by the mechanic is necessary after a certain period of time or a certain number of miles. For example, some cars need their timing belts adjusted every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

Proper care can prolong the life of your car and stop minor issues from becoming larger ones. An example of this is changing your motor oil with the manufacturerís recommended weight oil for your car.

Oil, Air, and Cabin Filters

In addition, make sure that the oil filter is changed when it needs to be changed. While many people are aware of the need to change oil filters, not many people think about the air filter. The air filter prevents harmful debris and other contaminants from entering your engine. If you have a newer vehicle, you may also have to have the mechanic check your cabin filter. This filter works to keep the carís air clean and an unchanged air filter might lead to decreased air quality in your car.

Battery

While most people buy batteries that are capable of lasting for years, the power output of a battery may gradually decrease until one day it gives out. Many people donít even know about battery maintenance and are not even aware of how they can check the water level in their batteries. This is quite important to check and the use of distilled water is important in bringing the water level back to an acceptable level.

In addition to water level, battery connections should be checked. Check for corrosion around the connections that could possibly cause the loss of electrical power and problems with starting the vehicle.

Electrical System

In addition, you may want to have the mechanic do a check on the carís alternator, as this is an important component in the carís electrical system. Working with the carís battery to generate power for the electrical components of the car, when this piece of the car malfunctions, you might experience trouble with starting the vehicle or issues with dim headlights.

Towing Limitations

But aside from maintenance, there are other things to keep in mind. If you are thinking about towing something to the lake, make sure you are aware of your vehicleís towing limitations. If you think that you may be bringing along a kayak or bike for your trip, make sure that these items are stored in a way that is compliant with current laws, rules, and regulations. Also, make sure that the weight of the items you are taking along with you wonít overload your car.

A little bit of knowledge and proper maintenance of your car will lead to a spring or summer adventure without unexpected interruptions.
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