It’s Memorial Day weekend and a lot of Americans will be getting on the road for the long weekend. Before you do, you might want to give your car a quick inspection. The Car Care Council makes the following recommendations:
Before you pack your car and hit the road for your driving trip, the Car Care Council recommends conducting a pre-vehicle inspection to help avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles away from home.
“A pre-trip vehicle check can determine how road-ready your vehicle is so you can take steps to have the problems fixed before your road trip,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Having a thorough inspection done on your car will give you peace of mind as you travel and help make your journey safer.”
The pre-trip vehicle check recommended by the Car Care Council includes:
- Schedule a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
- Check the brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
- Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.
- Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check that the gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.
Here are a few more tips for the long weekend:
Ok, so those are the big things…. But what about the little things that can make a huge difference?
- Check your windshield wipers: Though the last thing you want to see on the first long weekend of summer is a downpour, mother nature has a funny sense of humor. Make sure your wipers are in good condition, with no loose pieces.
- Top up your fluids: Windshield washer fluid, oil, brake fluids, make sure you’re car is ready for any and all things that can happen.
- Have an emergency kit on hand: A milk crate is all you need. Flash lights, a blanket, a few bottles of water and some snacks will keep your family happy and safe if your car breaks down, while you’re waiting for the toe truck to arrive. If you have young children, add a few diapers, wipes and a tetra pack of milk that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.