It’s about that time of year again. The sun is shining, the beach is calling your name, and your kids can’t seem to understand why your job doesn’t have a full summer vacation like their school. Before you cram your family and suitcases into your ride, make sure that hot rod is ready for the road! Here are five things to check out and keep in mind before you get your kicks on Route 66.
1) Check your fluids
It’s very important to make sure your car has enough clean oil to make the trip with no issues. Grab a dry white rag, or paper towel to check the oil color and level. Take out the dipstick, and wipe it off once, then re-dip it to make sure you get an accurate level. Now check out the towel and make sure the oil isn’t dark black. It’s okay for the oil to be slightly brown, but a gooey black oil needs to be changed ASAP. If it has been awhile since your last checkup, it might not hurt to check your transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant, but at the very least check your oil.
2) Check your battery
Make sure there is plenty of charge, and that the two terminals are free of any corrosion. If there is any build up on the battery, you can use the old Coca-Cola trick. Grab a red can of your favorite cola and pour it over the terminals while scrubbing with an old toothbrush to break the corrosion free.
Just make sure you have four, and you’re good to go! Just kidding, please don’t take a trip without checking your tires! If you aren’t sure about the tread, you can always use the penny trick. Hold a penny upside down and put it between the treads. If the tread reaches past the top of Lincoln’s head, you should be good to go. Also, what I said before about four tires… you actually need five! Don’t ever go on a road trip without a spare tire! It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
This is a big one if you’re planning on taking a trip to the mountains. Going on a long trip with worn out brakes can be a big safety issue, especially in an area with a lot of elevation change. Driving in the mountains can be hard on your brakes, so you want to make sure they are in good condition before you hit the road. If you didn’t before, this would be a good time to double check your brake fluid!
Last, but definitely not least, check ALL of your lights before you decide to head out. The last thing you need is a ticket to start off your vacation! It only takes a minute to do a quick check of headlights, high beams, taillights, brake lights, and blinkers.
Okay, it’s time. Roll the windows down, turn up the tunes, and enjoy the wind in your face. Now there’s nothing between you and the open road! Be safe, don’t speed, and most importantly HAVE FUN!
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.