Summers and road trips are like peanut butter and jelly — they just go together! But before you embark on your next adventure, it’s essential to make sure your car is in good condition by getting a tune-up. It’s how you can ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly and that you’re less likely to experience problems while on vacation.
So if you’re planning a summer road trip, schedule a tune-up for your car before you go! A good rule of thumb is to bring it in for a tune-up about a week before your trip. That way, you can rest assured knowing that your car is in good shape and ready for the open road.
What a Tune-Up Usually Includes
A tune-up usually includes checking and changing the following:
- The engine’s air filter — If your filters are clogged, it can restrict the airflow to your engine and cause it to run less efficiently.
- The spark plugs — Over time, spark plugs can become fouled or worn out, affecting your car’s performance.
- The engine oil — Oil breaks down over time and needs to be changed regularly to keep your engine running smoothly.
- The tire pressure and tread depth — Tires can lose air over time, so checking their pressure before heading out on a long trip is important. You should also check the tread depth to ensure your tires have enough grip.
- The battery — A weak or dead battery can leave you stranded, so it’s essential to have it checked before you go.
- Headlights — The headlights can dim over time, so it’s a good idea to have them checked or replaced before going on a long trip.
- Brake pads — Worn brake pads can affect your car’s stopping power, so it’s vital to have them checked before you go.
These are just a few things that are typically checked during a tune-up. Bringing your car to get serviced at least a week or two before your scheduled road trip should give you ample time to get any necessary repairs or maintenance done.
Of course, only your mechanic can surely tell you what your car needs. But this would also be the best time to shed some light on potential issues you’ve noticed while driving your car. For instance, it’s possible that you saw a chip on your windshield.
Driving with a broken windshield is not only dangerous, but it’s also illegal in some states. This means that you have to consider the windshield replacement duration to get it fixed before your trip. Otherwise, you’ll have to change your plans or drive without a windshield, which is not ideal!
Tips for Avoiding Car Trouble While on Vacation
Even if you get a tune-up before your trip, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong while you’re on the road. That’s why it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the worst. Here are some tips for avoiding car trouble while on vacation:
Tip #1 Bring a roadside emergency kit
A roadside emergency kit is one of the best ways to be prepared for anything. It should include jumper cables, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, and a few tools. You should also bring a spare tire, just in case you get a flat. This way, if you have car trouble, you’ll be able to fix it yourself or make it to a service station.
Tip #2 Know where the nearest service station is
If you do end up having car trouble, you’ll need to know where the nearest service station is. This way, you can get your car towed there if necessary. It’s also a good idea to have the number of a tow truck on hand, just in case you need it.
Tip #3 Plan your route ahead of time
One of the best ways to avoid getting stranded is to plan your route. This way, you’ll know exactly where you’re going and won’t have to worry about getting lost. You should also map out where the nearest service or gas stations are, just in case you need them.
Tip #4 Don’t drive for more than eight hours a day
If you’re planning a long road trip, it’s important not to drive for more than eight hours a day. This will help you avoid getting too tired and give you time to rest and relax. It’s also a good idea to take a break every two hours to stretch your legs and give yourself a break from driving.
Taking a road trip during the summer is a great way to escape the heat. But before you hit the open road, you must ensure your car is in good condition by getting a tune-up! This will help you avoid any car trouble while on vacation. And if you do end up having car trouble, be sure to follow these tips so you can get back on the road in no time.