It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Of course, your travel plans may look a little different this year with COVID-19. With an expected rise in car travel, we’ve put together a list to help prepare your vehicle for a road trip. Getting your car ready will help make sure your Thanksgiving travel is as smooth as possible.
1. Check the electrical
Before hitting the road, you’ll want to be sure all your lights are functioning. This includes the headlights, taillights, and blinkers. If you’re traveling in a truck or motorhome, make sure everything’s working here as well.
2. Inspect your tires
Never leave on a long road trip without checking your tires. Specifically, check your air pressure. Under inflated tires will lead to poor gas mileage, and over inflated tires will negatively impact the quality of your ride. Over time, the wrong air pressure can shorten the lifespan of your tires. Our advice is to check the air pressure before you leave, and again for every 1,000 miles of travel. Tire rotation helps increase the lifespan of your tires by helping them wear evenly. Your tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, so you may need to get this done before your trip. Tires will last anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles. If your tires are old, then you may want to have a professional inspect them before taking a long car trip.
3. Check the battery
Check out your battery before you leave. It should be securely connected and corrosion-free. Car batteries typically last 3 to 5 years. It’s best practice to get yours inspected once a year if it’s over 2 years old.
4. Inspect the belts and hoses
When pushing down on the belts, they should have little slack. If they have lots of give to them, they need to be repaired before your trip. Look for cracks or fraying in your hoses, and be on the lookout for fluid leaks. These issues need to be addressed before you leave.
5. Fluids and filters
If you’re due for an oil change, get this done before your road trip. Also, make sure to top off your other auto fluids, including: power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze, and windshield fluid. Replace your air filters if you haven’t done so in a while. Air filters in the engine and cabin impact engine performance, fuel economy, and air quality. These should be switched out annually.
6. Listen to the brakes
If your brakes are making a strange squealing sound, it could mean your brake pads need to be replaced. Your brake pads provide the necessary friction to bring your vehicle to a stop. Over time, they wear thin and need replacing. To be safe, make sure your brakes are in great condition before your road trip. We all know how hectic holiday travel can be. By taking care of your car now, you can help prevent any unexpected complications on the road.
Does your car need an inspection before Thanksgiving? It’s not too late. Our experienced technicians at D&D Autoworks are here for you. You can make an appointment online, or reach us by phone. Give us a call today at (952) 931-9696 for our Minnetonka Boulevard location, or (952) 922-9696 for our West Lake Street location.