6 Essential Car Maintenance Tips for Summer Road Trips 

Leatherman tool fixing car

6 Essential Car Maintenance Tips for Summer Road Trips 

Summer is “road trip season." Getting your car in traveling shape after winter and spring wear and tear is easier than you might think.

Find out how to save money, maximize mileage, and get more from your car with just a few simple steps.

Change Your Tires

It may sound obvious but you’d be surprised at how many people wait until June to finally swap out their winters. Despite what your uncle’s friend’s mechanic’s kid might have told you, winter tires are no good for warm weather driving conditions. Now that we’re free from winter’s icy grip, schedule an appointment to do the switch if you haven’t done so already. Once your summer tires are on, take the time to rinse off a season’s worth of salt, slush, and snow before putting the winters in storage.

Do A Battery Check

Months of sub-zero temperatures can wreak havoc on a car’s battery. Taking the time to check if it’s performing could save you from considerable frustration down the road. If you’ve had your car for more than a few years, head over to your mechanic and have them perform a quick test. If you’re planning on taking any road trips this summer, you don’t want to be dealing with a dead battery or alternator in the middle of nowhere town.

Change Your Oil And Filter

You should be doing this regularly but just in case you’ve been skipping those helpful reminders, consider this a head’s up. You’ve probably heard it a thousand times but regular oil checks and changes are one of the best ways to keep your car running for the long haul. When you consider that ignoring the oil can lead to reduced mileage and serious engine damage, the occasional maintenance doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Check your owner’s manual (most are available online in case you can’t find the original) and see how often the manufacturer recommends a change.

Mechanic fixing car with Leatherman tool

Inspect Your Windshield

After months of driving behind tractor trailers spewing slush, chances are your windshield is a little worse for wear. Now’s the time to hunt for damage and get it repaired before it becomes a major issue. Caught early, chips and small cracks are easy to fix. A structurally sound windshield is key to keeping you safe so make it a priority.

Check Your Fluids

Is your steering wheel feeling a little sluggish? Has that light on your dashboard been on for a while? Chances are you need to top up some fluids. Do some recon work and suss out the levels for your brake, transmission, power steering, windshield washer, and coolant fuels and either stock up on a few bottles at an auto parts store or make an appointment with a mechanic. As with most car maintenance issues, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a (very expensive) cure.

Do A Deep Clean

Now that the frigid temperature can no longer serve as an excuse, it’s time to give your car the spring cleaning that it so desperately needs. Whether it’s evidence of commute-related coffee spills, salt stains in the footwells, or remnants of whatever snack your kid spilled in their car seat, show no mercy. Arm yourself with soft cloths, car-friendly cleaning supplies, and a hand-held vacuum and get busy. Not only will you be keeping your wheels looking great, but you’ll also be able to bask in the wonderful feeling that only comes with driving a really clean car.

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