Your Summer Road Trip Vehicle Checklist
A healthy car is happy car and that makes for happier drivers. Small regular investments in your car?s wellbeing can make all the difference not only to its lifespan but also to its performance. It can also minimize the risk of something going wrong. With summer holidays on the horizon, ensuring your car is in tip-top shape should be a priority to avoid nasty surprises along the way.
Few drivers realize just how important an oil change can be. Oil change services offer a variety of benefits from increasing the overall performance of your car?s engine to improving your gas mileage. Using oil change services can ensure that dirt, debris, and other particulates do not build up in your engine potentially causing problems. If you want to avoid sludgy grimy deposits in your engine, it is best to opt for synthetic oils as they tend to burn cleaner. You will be cutting down on harmful emissions if you regularly service your oil. Oil should be changed every 5,000 miles or three times a year. Most car care centers offer oil change services.
Another important check to make regularly is that of your car?s belts and hoses. They should be replaced when they show evidence of wear and tear. Studies have found that as much as 19 percent of vehicles have at least one worn belt and 17 percent need replacing. Timing belts should be replaced every 60,000 to 90,000 miles, according to the Car Care Council, although different makes and models make have different specifications. Making sure that these hoses and belts are in good condition can help avoid expensive breakdowns and hassle on the road.
Keeping safe on the road also means taking care of your tires. You should rotate your tires about every 7,500 miles, but it depends on car manufacturer recommendations so this may vary. You should also check your tire alignment about every 6,000 miles. Another option is to do so when you have the oil changed. Wheel alignment issues can make your car less fuel efficient so having this checked can also save you on gas costs. Ensuring that you have good tread on your tires is equally important, so make sure you are monitoring the wear on the tires.
Of course your brakes will also need checking routinely, since they last between 25,000 and 50,000 miles. There are two brake pads per rotor, which press against it when you brake. You need to be sure that the brake pads are not worn as worn brake pads can mean that you are unable to stop in an emergency or take longer to brake than you realize. If there is less than 1/8 inch of pad lining left, you need to replace your brake pads. Alternatively look to do it every 25,000 miles.
Lastly dirty or clogged air filters can result in worsening gas mileage, so have them replaced if they are not up to specification. Following these simple maintenance steps, from oil change services to replacing brake pads, can greatly extend the life of your car and ensure that every driving experience is happy one without the expensive and inconvenience of an unexpected breakdown. It also means your car is a safer option and you don?t have to worry about risking your life or that of those around you with an unsafe vehicle.