If you are planning a road trip this summer, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t just put gas in your car and go. A pre-trip vehicle check can determine how road-ready your vehicle is so you can take steps to have any problems fixed before heading out for vacation:
- Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer and power steering, brake and transmission fluids. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.
- Check the hoses and belts and replace if they 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 brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Under inflated 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 the engine to make sure it is delivering the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
- Check that the gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.