11 Auto Maintenance Tips to Consider Before Leaving For Vacation
11 Auto Maintenance Tips to Consider Before Leaving For Vacation !
The summer holidays have started for most of us, and the weather is perfect for being on the road. For many of us the summer months mean vacations, long drives, and a lot of planning. Before leaving for a vacation in Canada, or even along the Pan-American Highway, you must take certain precautions. This is why we suggest following these 11 auto maintenance tips in order to drive safely and start your trip with a clear conscience.
1. Check and Clean your Windshield Wipers
They are essential in case of a storm or to remove accumulated dirt. Difficulty sliding, rubbing noises or strange movements are signs that your windshield wipers should be changed.
Sometimes the problem can simply be accumulated debris. Before changing your windshield wipers, clean them with a cloth… You could avoid yourself a lot of hassle and a bit of money!
2. Check your Headlights Before Leaving
The headlights, indicators, and rear lights must be checked before each departure. Their good working order will not only allow you to be seen by other drivers and stay safe on the road, but will also avoid you getting a ticket. Ask a neighbor or family member to help you check.
3. Check your Windshield
If you notice any damage or imperfections, and think it could be serious, ask your Point S mechanic about it during your next visit. The windshield acts as a barrier between the car’s occupants and debris from the road. It is therefore important to take deep cracks and chips in the glass seriously.
If you notice one or the other, have your windshield inspected by a Point S expert in order to assess the risk of the problem worsening.
4. Check the State and Pressure of your Tires
There are 3 important elements to take into account when it comes to tires:
- First of all, your tires’ pressure should be monitored before each departure. Be careful during your inspection! Because heat increases pressure inside the tires, it is recommended that you check them in cold temperatures in order to obtain a more precise reading. It is important to know that good tire pressure allows you to save gas and reduces tire wear. Also take the time to check your spare tire in the event that you should have a flat tire.
- Second of all, your tire tread depth must be superior to 2/32 (or 1.6 mm). Below this number your tires are unsafe and you are increasing your risk of having an accident.
- Finally, your tires’ alignment and balance must also be checked. During your tire change this verification should already have been carried out. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to test your car’s reactions on the road just to be sure.
In good automobile maintenance practices, tires should be checked every 5 000 km.
5. Ensure that the Radiator is Working Properly
One of the reasons motors overheat during the summer is a weakness in the radiator or a problem stemming from a fluid leak. If you notice a green, orange, or yellow liquid under your car when it is parked, this indicates a cooling liquid leak. Do not travel long distances before fixing the problem. The radiator’s worst enemies are corrosion, age, and large impacts that can damage it or obstruct certain components. It is recommended to have your radiator checked by an expert.
6. Check your Vehicle’s Fluid Levels
The oil, refrigerant (for the air-conditioning), and wiper fluid must be checked before a long trip. A lack of oil can damage the motor, and a lack of refrigerant can damage the car’s air-conditioning system. You do not want your car to have any of these problems, as repairing them is very expensive. There are two other fluids that are important to check during automobile maintenance. First of all, if you have difficulty turning your vehicle or if your steering wheel vibrates a lot when you are stopped, it might be due to a lack of power steering fluid.
Second of all, your transmission fluid should be checked if your car has a lot of mileage and its levels have not been checked before. Each fluid has its own compartment equipped with a dipstick indicating its level.
Generally, these fluids’ level should be checked every 2 months. If you are not sure how to proceed, ask an expert.
7. Check the Timing or Driving Belt
It is recommended to have this checked by a mechanic during your next visit. It is important to know that changing a belt is not expensive, but repairing damage caused by a broken belt is. The belt must be checked every 75 000 km and 130 000 km by someone of experience.
8. Check your Exhaust Pipe and Rust
If you hear little noises when you drive over potholes, your exhaust pipe might be detached. Most of the time, this reparation only requires a little bit of welding. While looking under your car, take the time to check if there is any rust. If it has been there for a long time, certain components could break when your car receives an impact. Have the rust on your car checked in a certified center.
9. Check your Brakes
They are essential to your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. If you notice that your car’s braking distance has increased and is even worse in rainy conditions, have your vehicle checked immediately. Your braking should be rapid and optimal. Your brakes should be checked every 6 months by a professional.
10. Check your Battery and Signs of Corrosion
You can check your battery with a multimeter. The voltage should be between 12.5v for a 100% charge, and 14.5v when the motor is running. A voltage of 12.0v is equal to a charge of 25%, meaning you should charge your battery. Several signs can indicate a problem, such as:
- If start-up is slow or difficult
- A rotten egg smell (sulfur) coming from a leak
- The electrical equipment is not functioning properly
If you are not sure, write down what you observe and ask your mechanic. Your battery should be checked every 3 months.
11. Check your Emergency Equipment
Your first aid kit, spare tire, flares, and tools should all be in good condition. Also check that all your papers, such as license and registration, are in order. It is important to keep in mind that you can check certain things at home, which is very practical. However, it is strongly recommended that you have your vehicle checked by an expert who offers all of these services before hitting the road for an extended drive.
In this way you will be able to drive with peace of mind while feeling safe in your vehicle. Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes.
Have a good vacation!
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