You know you should handle a few critical maintenance tasks before embarking on that summer road trip, right? Checking your tire pressure, replacing old brake pads, and keeping up with oil changes are essential tasks to ensure your vehicle remains reliable, whether you're driving for a few hours or multiple days. However, there's more to making your vehicle road-trip ready than routine maintenance.
Many people defer repairs that don't seem essential, but ignoring these problems can make your vehicle less safe to drive over long distances. If you're suffering from any of these three issues, then it's a good idea to schedule a repair before you embark on your next great summer adventure.
1. Overheating Issues
Does your car's temperature needle occasionally creep past the safe line? Do you find yourself adding coolant from time to time? These might seem like minor annoyances, but overheating is a severe condition. Prolonged periods at high temperatures can result in costly internal engine repairs, and it may only take a few minutes to do irreversible damage.
In many cases, the underlying cause may be a simple problem, such as a stuck thermostat or a leaky coolant hose. Diagnosing and repairing these problems before you leave will allow you to enjoy your trip stress-free and keep you from finding yourself stuck on the side of the road with steam billowing from your hood.
2. Suspension or Alignment Issues
Suspension components wear out over time, reducing your car's ride quality and handling. Worn suspension parts can also result in alignment drift, which can cause accelerated tire wear and unpredictable steering issues. If your vehicle pulls to one side, makes unusual noises on bumps, or otherwise feels unstable, you may have one or more worn-out suspension components.
Long trips over unfamiliar (and potentially poor) roads can exacerbate these problems. If you have alignment trouble, driving for hundreds or thousands of miles on ailing suspension components can even ruin your tires. Dealing with these problems now will get your car back to soaking up those highway miles smoothly and effortlessly.
3. Oil Leaks
Many vehicles develop minor oil leaks as they age. These typically occur at gaskets or hoses, and valve cover gasket leaks are prevalent on many cars. A small oil leak isn't a significant concern if you keep your oil topped up, but low oil levels can lead to catastrophic damage. Oil leaks are sometimes worse under pressure, so driving for long miles and many hours might mean losing more oil than you expect.
The safest option is always to locate and repair any oil leaks before you take a long trip. This repair offers relatively cheap insurance against the potential for catastrophic oil loss, saving you from a messy problem that can quickly leave you stranded.
Make an appointment at an auto repair shop to fix your car's issues.