Neglecting mechanical checks before a car trip is a very bad thing to do. Even if your car is new, you still need to check it before you travel. Unfortunately, this is not something that most car owners do.
If you plan a long trip and you want to be sure that the car is in an appropriate working condition, here are some really important checks you have to go through. If you do not have the needed knowledge or time, you can always consider a trip to a professional auto repair Lakewood CO specialist.
Engine Oil Check
Oil levels have to be checked so you are sure you have all you need for the trip. When you are close to the oil-change interval that is listed in the car owner manual, simply change the oil.
Differential And Transmission Fluids
The car’s drive axle and transmission have a lubricant supply. These have to be checked at appropriate change intervals. Regular changes of these oils is mandatory if you want the car to work in an appropriate condition.
Hoses And Belts
A rubber hose used in a car engine lasts around ten years but only if it sits on the shelf. This is because of constant exposure to really high temperatures. If the hose gets hard, the possibility of it cracking is very high. Check hoses and see if they show signs of wear and tear. If so, they have to be replaced.
The exact same thing can be said about belts. Get new ones whenever they show fiber cords, are cracked, torn or simply ragged.
When you buy a new car, it already includes engine coolant. It is designed to last for around 125,000 miles. When the car is under 4 years old, you want to check the coolant reservoir to see that there is enough there. If the car is older than that, the best thing that you can do is simply top up all coolant.
Tire Tread And Pressure
Fortunately, most car owners check their tires before they head out on a road trip. However, many forget about the spare tire. Also, a visual inspection is not actually enough since it would only show if the tread is not appropriate. You need to also check tire pressure. Inside the owner manual you can find information about the appropriate tire pressure. Be sure that levels listed there are properly respected.
The Brake System
It is not enough to check and see if the brakes work or not. You need to also see if the brake fluid levels are as high as they should be. Unfortunately, brake fluid starts to rust brake components during aging. Look at fluid color and be sure that levels are high to be sure that your brakes are actually going to work on the trip.
When the car battery is older than it should be, the best thing you can do is replace it. Fortunately, this is not always necessary. Check terminals to be sure that they are fully corrosion-free. Also, the leads have to be tight. Whenever starting the car sounds sluggish, it is because of a dying battery or corrosion.