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If you’re gearing up for a road trip during the warmer months, it’s essential to ensure your car is in top condition before hitting the road. This involves scheduling a maintenance check with a technician who can perform routine inspections and address any potential issues.

For those in Garden City, Idaho, seeking assistance with car maintenance, look no further than Treasure Valley Auto Care. In an upcoming blog post, we’ll delve into essential car maintenance tips tailored for road trips. To uncover more details, simply keep scrolling down.

To ensure a hassle-free journey, it’s crucial to prioritize proper car maintenance. Here are some essential tips to consider before embarking on your road trip.

Inspect the Exhaust System

A malfunctioning exhaust system can lead to decreased fuel efficiency, loss of power, and the failure to expel harmful engine emissions. If you notice unusual sounds like hissing or popping emanating from the engine, it’s crucial to promptly examine the exhaust system to ensure a smooth road trip.

These sounds may indicate underlying issues, including potential failures of components such as the catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, muffler, or tailpipe.

Prior to embarking on your road trip, it’s advisable to have a qualified technician inspect your car’s exhaust system. Even if your vehicle appears to be running smoothly, regular checks are essential, especially for cars aged 5 years or older. Engine failure on the road is a scenario best avoided, making preemptive maintenance a wise investment in your journey’s success.

Inspect the Steering and Suspension System

If your car’s steering and suspension system aren’t functioning properly, you may experience swaying and bouncing, leading to an uncomfortable road trip.

Before hitting the road, it’s essential to have a technician inspect these systems to ensure a smooth ride to your destination. The technician will examine for loose steering parts, damaged shocks or struts, and broken mounts or bushings that could contribute to an uneven ride.

Check the Tires and Wheel Alignment

Prior to embarking on your road trip, it’s crucial to have a professional technician inspect your car’s tires and wheels. Dealing with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere is every driver’s nightmare.

Flat tires are among the most common reasons for roadside assistance calls. To avoid unexpected tire issues, ensure the alignment of your wheels and tires is checked by a professional. Additionally, make sure your spare tire is readily available in case of emergencies.

A technician will perform the following checks during a tire and wheel inspection:

  • Tire Pressure: Is the tire pressure set to the recommended psi? Refer to the car owner’s manual to ensure proper inflation. Both under and over-inflated tires can lead to various issues, including a bumpy ride, overheating, flat tires, or even a blowout.
  • Tire Wear: Is the tire tread in good condition? Are there any uneven wear patterns? Inadequate tread depth and excessive wear can result in reduced traction on the road. Alignment issues in the car can further diminish tire lifespan and lead to decreased fuel efficiency.

Inspect the Brakes

The car’s braking system stands as one of its crucial safety features. Similar to any other part of the car, it is susceptible to overheating and could pose a risk to you and your family if it suddenly fails while driving on the highway.

Before embarking on a road trip, it is essential to check the condition of the car’s braking system. You should be prepared to make sudden stops, whether due to animals crossing the highway or during stop-and-go city traffic, both of which can strain your car’s braking system.

Inspecting the car’s braking system can help identify issues, especially if there are warning signs such as grinding, sponginess, squeaking, or steering-wheel shaking when the brake pedal is applied. The mechanic will thoroughly examine the brake pads, rotors, drums, hoses, and brake fluid.

Perform an Oil Change

Before embarking on a road trip, it’s crucial to conduct an oil change. Fresh, clean oil is essential for maintaining proper engine function, preventing overheating, and avoiding mechanical breakdowns. Ensure the oil is of high quality and at the correct level to keep the engine running smoothly. If the car is due for an oil change, it should be done immediately before the trip.

Check the Fluid Levels in the Car

Before heading out for an extended drive, it’s important to inspect and top off the car’s fluids. Check the brake fluid, coolant, engine oil, power steering fluid, transaxle, and windshield washer fluid. A car technician can assess the level and condition of the car’s fluids.

Here are some of the essential car fluids to inspect:

  • Brake Fluid: This fluid operates within a sealed hydraulic system to prevent contamination and moisture buildup. It plays a crucial role in the braking system, from brake pads to the brake pedal.
  • Engine Coolant: Also known as antifreeze, engine coolant maintains the engine’s temperature. Check the coolant reservoir to ensure it’s filled to the manufacturer’s recommended level, and ensure it’s free from debris. Look out for corrosion in the tank, as coolant can become acidic over time.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid: This fluid is essential for cleaning the windshield with the wiper blades. A clean windshield is vital for clear visibility while driving, especially at night.

Check the Car’s Air Conditioner

When embarking on a summertime road trip, ensure your car’s air conditioning system is functioning correctly. If the car isn’t cooling properly, enlist a technician to inspect and address any issues. Pay attention to whether the air blows cold or warm and watch for signs of refrigerant leaks from hoses, compressors, and valves.

Perform General Maintenance

A technician can examine the spark plug, cabin, fuel, air filters, and battery charge level. It’s essential to have a road trip toolbox for minor repairs during long drives. Be sure to bring along the following:

  • Jumper cables
  • Duct tape
  • Wheel lock key
  • Spare tire tool kit
  • Heavy duty gloves
  • Emergency light

Planning a summer road trip? Ensure your car is road-ready with proper maintenance beforehand. If you’re in Garden City, Idaho, rely on Treasure Valley Auto Care. We offer comprehensive car maintenance and repair services to keep your vehicle running smoothly and prevent any potential issues on your journey.

Interested in our services? Don’t hesitate to reach out. Call us at 208-385-0339 or email Let Treasure Valley Auto Care handle your car maintenance and repair needs. Don’t wait, contact us today!