Driving 101: Preparing your ride for summer vacation!

Updated Jan 10, 2019 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Summer is coming and fun can't be busted by auto problems. Here's what should be prepared.

It has been a long and tiring year and the holidays just passed, and soon the open road beckons! What better way than to have a mighty and well-deserved vacation when summer comes? But, first things should be in order and just to make sure to prepare your ride well for summer!

Otherwise, fun in the sun would be spent waiting for tow or a mechanic to get the car running again too. And, that is a real downer for a lot of holiday-goers, which is really excruciating at most.

Why maintenance should be done ahead before summer?

Better to get on the old family van, sedan, SUV, truck, and crossover knowing there isn’t a worry and it will work without any hitch. Here are some reasons why maintenance should be done ahead before summer. It can’t be avoided due to the wear and tear on the auto that will come when it is driven on road trips.

  • On road repairs are not easy and will cost a whole lot of greenbacks; mechanics will not be at hand immediately!
  • Worst case scenario will be an expensive tow back home, instead of fun in the sun.
  • A source of more stress on anyone and their wallets too!
  • Reservations and down payments will be forfeited just because the car went bust, on the way there.
  • Worst of all the kids would be disappointed without a beach to go in their swimsuit or no sand to play with their shovels.

Keeping autos in tip-top condition to avoid any unforeseen problems is a huge task but follow these car maintenance tips from Philkotse.com for better results.

What should be done for overall maintenance?

Most of it is basic, but there are some other more important systems to check out; before everything is green and go. How much work will be involved in doing so! Would be best to give it a bit more attention; before everyone sends in their cars which will make scheduling a bit harder. When maintenance begins; spare parts may not always be available too! But it can be done preparing your rid for summer; how long it takes.

1. Check all the fluids in the car

This is the easiest part, and it can be done without a mechanic because it is a basic task that shouldn’t be too complex to accomplish. All the fluids like the brake fluid, coolant, automatic transmission fluid, engine oil, and gear oil are important. Cars need them to run properly, and neglecting this basic maintenance will be something to regret.

To keep your car run properly, remember to check all the car fluids 

Here is a brief rundown on the most important fluids for most vehicles:

  • If there is no brake fluid the brakes won’t work and will fail
  • No coolant means the engine overheats and it can be damaged; because engine knocking will happen.
  • Most automatic transmission cars will need automatic transmission fluid for easier shifting.
  • Another source of over-heating is not enough engine oil and without it, no proper lubing of moving parts!
  • Some cars will have receptacles for gear oil which is done on older models.

2. Check the tires if they need replacement

It’s important to have tires with the tread intact; because worn treads will have less traction. Other more chances for tire blowouts or bumps on tubeless steel-belted radials, which is not desirable either too! Replace all tires if it can be done, but replacing a pair with a new set and putting it at the front with the older set at the back.

Look at the spare if it is okay; if not just have it fixed. A spare is important when traveling anywhere; especially with a blown tire with no other spare!

>>> Read more: Using a P1 coin to check your car’s tread depth

car maintenance_check the tire

It is important to have the tires checked carefully. Replace all the tires if it can be done

3. Inspect brake pads and other under-chassis wheel parts

When they get thin; the rotor disc can be damaged by worn brake pads! It’s better to change a pair, for even wear compared to just replacing one brake pad. Other parts to check is the ball-joint, and other moving under chassis wheel parts that should be replaced.

If the shock absorber needs a replacement; there would be noises that should be checked too. The wheels will be damaged if any bad shock absorber is not replaced!

Car maintenance_ inspect brake pads

The wheels will be damaged if any bad shock absorber is not replaced

4. Check all electricals and make sure the ECU is working with all features

Usually, premium cars will need a healthy electrical system with no problem with the wires, fuses, battery and all electrical equipment like all lights and indicators are working fine. Modern cars need the electricals working, or there might be problems with the advanced features. Make sure there is no grounded wire with no icon that indicates a problem; lighting up like a Christmas tree.

Car maintence_ check all electricals

Make sure there is no grounded wire with no icon that indicates a problem

5. Check the AC if it is too hot or not getting cold

Long trips will need the AC at its best and if it doesn’t get cold enough; Have it checked. Usually charging it with Freon is the simplest to do, should tubes or other AC components go on the fritz; then expect the worst. Some parts will be hard to come by though, but it still can be done not on the road though.

Car maintenance_check the AC

Charging the AC with Freon to make sure it works at its best

6. Make sure the alternator works and does not have a problem

When small alternator problems crop up; expect the worst and hope the car won’t go dead. The alternator provided a charge for the battery; without a healthy alternator, any battery won’t charge promptly. Fixes like the wires and parts inside are the best to consider, but total replacement can be expensive.


How to test an Alternator?

There is really no point other than preparing your ride for summer, and it should be done! It is risky to use a car that has doubtful maintenance, but doing maintenance especially before summer will resolve that. Summer fun can be done, but keep the car fixed first!