How to Prepare Your Car for Summer Road Trips

Summer is known as a time for adventures and family fun. One of the most popular forms of vacation is a summer road trip, due to its low price compared to air travel. However, road trips can be hard on your car due to the performance demand, so you should always make sure your car is in top shape before heading out. Before you leave Orange for your summer road trip adventure, prepare your car for the journey by following these steps.

#1. Have your oil changed

The basic maintenance step that even the newest car owners know is that you should have your oil changed regularly in order to keep it working perfectly. Oil is critical for the engine, as it lubricates all of the moving components. Oil should be changed at least every 5,000 miles, but if you’re heading out for a long-distance road trip, it’s advised that you check your oil condition and fill level regardless of when you last had it changed. If your oil is black, gritty, or below the minimum fill level, bring it in to be changed right away before your trip.

#2. Know your fluid levels

Fluids are essential for the proper functioning of any car, so make sure that they all get checked before you leave for a road trip. Your radiator fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid are all extremely important to maintain, and the malfunctioning of any of these parts due to low fluid levels could leave you stranded hundreds or thousands of miles away from home. While most of these fluids only need to be flushed every 40,000 miles or so, it’s always a good idea to have everything assessed by a professional before you head out for a long trip.

#3. Check your tires

The air pressure in your tires affects your car’s fuel efficiency and your tires’ lifespan. Underinflated tires will waste gas and decrease fuel efficiency, while overinflated tires make ride quality worse and wear unevenly. Check your tire pressure every 1,000 miles to make sure that you are maintaining the ideal air pressure, and fill your tires when needed. Your tires may even need replacement altogether if you’ve had them for more than 50,000 miles. Most tires last anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles, so if your tires are nearing their expiration date, take your vehicle into an auto repair shop to have them examined and possibly replaced. Everyone’s road trip nightmare is ending up with a flat tire, so don’t let that happen to you by taking precautions ahead of time.

#4. Have your air conditioning inspected

No matter how well the mechanics of your car are functioning, any summer road trip will be a miserable one if your air conditioning isn’t working properly. If your auto AC is only blowing warm air, or if it isn’t blowing air at all, have an auto repair mechanic check your auto AC system’s coolant levels or inspect the belt for damage. The refrigerant used for AC coolant is highly toxic, so make sure it’s only handled by an authorized auto repair professional such as Citywide Auto Care. Keeping cool during your road trip will ensure that it’s a much more enjoyable time for everyone in the car.

Before you head off for your summer road trip, make sure your car is in adequate shape to handle those weeks of adventure. Here at Citywide Auto Care in Orange, we perform quick, reliable, and cost-effective maintenance services and auto repairs that will get you and your family out on the road in no time. To make an appointment today, give us a call at (714) 633-4211.