Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is almost here. With COVID-19 concerns, our travel plans will undoubtedly look a little different this year. With many people opting to drive rather than fly, there’s an anticipated increase in car travel. To make sure your trip goes smoothly, we’ve compiled a list to help get your car ready for a road trip.
1. Inspect the belts and hoses
Your belts should be tight when you push down on them. If they hang slack, or if any teeth come loose, they need maintenance. Inspect the hoses for signs of fraying or cracks, and keep an eye out for fluid leaks. If you come across any of these things, then your car will need repairs before your trip this Thanksgiving.
2. Fluids and filters
Before leaving, make sure all your fluids are topped off. This includes your brake fluid, antifreeze, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, and transmission fluid. Additionally, get your oil changed before your trip if you’re due. Air filters in the engine and cabin should be switched out once a year. They affect air quality, fuel economy, and engine performance. If you’re not sure when yours were changed out, it can’t hurt to do so before a long car trip.
3. Listen to the brakes
Whenever your brakes make odd noises, you should probably get them checked. A squealing sound often means you need new brake pads. Brake pads provide the friction that’s needed to slow your vehicle to a stop. Over time, they wear down and need to be replaced. It’s always a good idea to make sure your brakes are in top condition before a road trip.
4. Check the electrical before driving on Thanksgiving
Check your car’s lights to make sure they’re functioning properly. This includes the blinkers, taillights, and headlights. If you’re traveling by motorhome or truck, inspect their electrical functions as well.
5. Inspect your tires
Checking your tires before a road trip is always best practice. Specifically, check the air pressure. If your tires are underinflated, you’ll have poor gas mileage. If they’re overinflated, it’ll negatively impact your ride quality. The wrong air pressure can reduce the lifespan of your car’s tires, so you should check this before leaving. Also, check it every 1,000 miles of travel. To ensure your tires wear evenly, they should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Since this helps increase the lifespan of your tires, it’s not a bad idea to get this done before taking off. Tires will generally last anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles. If you’ve had your tires for this long, it’s important to have a professional evaluate them and let you know if you need to replace anything before your trip.
6. Check the battery
Always check your car’s battery before leaving. It should be free of corrosion and connected properly. If your battery is over 2 years old, you should be getting it checked annually. In general, car batteries will last about 3 to 5 years. With all the unknowns of holiday travel, especially this year, the last thing you want is an unexpected breakdown. Make sure your road trip goes as planned by taking care of your car before you leave. Do you need your vehicle inspected before the holidays? You’re in luck. Our experienced technicians at Lloyd’s Automotive are here to help. Give us a call at (651) 228-1316 to schedule your appointment today.