When you come back from a major road trip, your car needs some good care. It may not seem like it, but it suffered through some punishment as you took it on the long drive. If you want to be sure it is in good condition, you need to do some basic maintenance on it. Besides dropping by a dependable auto mechanic, here are some additional maintenance duties you should be doing:
Check the Tires
A road trip is bad for your tires. Depending on how far you traveled, the rubber was likely rubbed raw. Additionally, the air pressure inside likely went down unless you refilled along the way. As it is, you should be checking on their condition. If the treads on your car are not deep enough, then they won’t be able to get a proper grip on the road. This can mean accidents. Thin car tires can also mean blowouts on the road. It is advisable to replace all the tires after any heavy use as a road trip.
Clean the Car Inside and Out
During a road trip, you likely spent a long time in the car. Hours of driving might mean that you stayed in your car as long as you slept somewhere. If you were a group, you likely also slept in the car as you changed drivers. This would mean a lot of dirt and sweat inside your car. You should be cleaning all of it up, going through the interior to throw any trash you find.
It is not just the inside of the car you should clean. The car exterior faced exposure the entire trip. Insect bodies, bird dropping, raindrops, and more were hitting the outside of your car. A trip to the car wash is necessary.
Car Fluid Maintenance
A lot of your car’s essential functions depend on various fluids. Engine oil ensures that your car engine is fully lubricated and functioned smoothly. Your road trip likely lowered the oil levels a bit. Besides that, there is the coolant. Found in your radiator, it ensures your car doesn’t overheat. Usually, you replace it after 30,000 miles. But experts recommend that coolants should be flushed out and replaced after any extreme use.
A road trip would qualify for that. Other fluids that need servicing include the wiper fluid and the brake fluid. Checking on all these fluid levels is essential and can prevent future problems.
Use the Onboard Diagnostics
Many modern cars feature an onboard diagnostic system. This allows car mechanics to check on car conditions without needing to get deep and dismantle parts. You can do it, too, by buying the right scanner. A cheap one should only cost $50. You can then hook it up and check your car’s vitals with ease. It will take some time to get used to it and you have to learn the manual to understand it. But you should be able to get a good idea of how well your car is doing with it.
Ensure That the Brakes are in Good Condition
Brakes are important and a malfunction with them can mean a big accident. Road trips likely put a lot of stress on your car’s brake system. A simple check should help ensure that nothing is wrong. You likely fixed up the brake fluid already. You should then listen whether there is any grinding or squealing happening. This means that your brake pads are worn out or are out of position. If the brakes don’t feel firm anymore or they vibrate too much, then that is also another bad sign. Brake pad replacement is the usual solution for a lot of these issues.
Electrical System Check
Your car has several important electrical parts. Electricity is an essential part of the engine working, while your lights and turn signals allow you to drive properly. You should check your car batteries and the car’s electrical system to see everything is fine. A frequent issue after a road trip is that one of the lights usually stopped working. Replacing them ensures that your car won’t get stopped by the police any time soon. Additionally, a food electrical system ensures your car’s various functions perform well.
Your car served you well during your trip. As its owner, it is your responsibility to take care of it after the trip you put it through. It is only through proper care that your car can do its job. Give your car some pampering and you can be sure that it will get you through anything.