Summer inspection

Routine maintence June 13, 2013

North Americans love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than the road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road Ė itís great! But thereís nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.
Now you canít always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicleís perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling Ė winding byways or super-highways? Mountains or plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How many miles will you travel? How much weight will you be hauling Ė passengers and luggage? Lugging a trailer or roof top carrier? Will it be dusty?
Armed with the answers to these questions, you can start a trip inspection to help you prepare your Chicago vehicle for your big adventure. A lot of our Chicago customers prefer to go through this exercise with an automotive service advisor at Triangle Auto Service to get their input and make sure they havenít left anything out.
A great place to start is with the tires. Inspect them for tread wear and proper inflation. Is it time to rotate your tires? Replace them? Are they up to the job Ė you wouldnít want to drive regular highway tires on a muddy off-road adventure.
Shocks and struts play a major role in both driving comfort and safety. If they need to be replaced, youíll really be glad you did once you hit the road. Is it time for a wheel alignment? Fighting a car thatís pulling to one side all day can be tiring and dangerous.
And donít forget your brakes. Any strange noises, grabbing, soft or hard peddle feel? If there is any doubt, get a brake inspection before you leave.
Moving under the hood, have your belts and hoses inspected. If something is excessively worn or near failure, the stress of a long road trip might just be the straw that breaks the camelís back.
Your engine air filter will be important. For every gallon of gas you burn, your car will filter and use 12,000 gallons of air. If the filter needs to be changed, youíll notice the fuel savings on your trip.
How close are you to your next oil change? Will you be able to complete your trip before itís due? If not, just get it taken care of before you go so that you donít need to interrupt your trip. In fact, a full service oil change is a great idea because they will top off all your fluids and check to see if any other maintenance items are due, such as transmission or cooling system service.
Do you notice any unusual odors in your vehicle? If so, it could as harmless as a dirty cabin air filter. But if itís an exhaust leak it could be fatal on a long trip. Of course youíll want to be comfortable, so get an air conditioning service if you arenít getting the cold air you used to.
Are you wiper blades still working well? If not, that is quick and inexpensive to fix. Headlamps are often overlooked when planning for a trip. If you havenít changed the bulb in six months or so, replacement bulbs will really light up the night on your trip.
All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all come into focus as you plan for your trip.
They will always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient delays on your trip. After all, you wouldnít want to miss the worldís largest ball of string, would you.,,


Chicago General
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