Do you plan on driving this summer? Duh ~ Of course, you do.
Are you going on a driving vacation? You really must prepare your car before loading up the family and heading off into the wild blue yonder. This post may not be sexy but if you have ever been on the side of the road with kids, pets, and parents you really will appreciate the words of wisdom. If you haven’t, you really don’t want to have stranded roadside memories.
Ditch the junk in the trunk – Clean the clutter out. You will need all the space you can for the kiddie gear. Plus extra weight means lower gas mileage.
Power up – Did you know that your battery could leave you stranded in the hot summer months? The heat and overcharging can shorten the life of your battery. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, which will eventually destroy a battery.
Kick the Tires – Do you really want to have a flat tire on the side of the road? Properly inflated tires are important to both your fuel economy and to the life of your tires. Don’t forget to check the spare if you have one.
Remember that you can check the tread by taking a penny and insert it upside down along your treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, those treads are dead and you need new tires.
According to Edmunds.com even if you have sufficient tread but your tires are older than say six years you may need to replace your tires.
Carmakers such as Nissan and Mercedes-Benz who tell consumers to replace tires six years after their production date, regardless of tread life. Tire manufacturers such as Continental and Michelin say a tire can last up to 10 years provided you get annual tire inspections after the fifth year. The Rubber Manufacturers Association says there is no way to put a date on when a tire “expires,” because such factors as heat, storage and conditions of use can dramatically reduce the life of a tire. Here’s more on each of these factors.
How To Determine the Age of a Tire
The sidewall of a tire is full of numbers and letters. They all mean something, but deciphering them can be a challenge. This Edmunds article about reading a tire’s sidewall goes into greater detail, but for the purposes of determining the age of a tire, you’ll just need to know its U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number.
Tires made after 2000 have a four-digit DOT code. The first two numbers represent the week in which the tire was made. The second two represent the year. A tire with a DOT code of 1109 was made in the 11th week of 2009. To read all the details go to http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/how-old-and-dangerous-are-your-tires.html
Check the Juice – You can easily check your fluids like coolant, motor oil, and windshield washer fluid also. I recommend you take your vehicle and have the oil changed and checked out by a professional before you begin a car trip.
The future is so bright you need shades – Purchasing a $10 sunshade that keeps sunlight from coming in the windshield can reduce fading, drying and cracking inside your vehicle, and keep you cooler when you sit down behind the wheel. If you happen to live in Arizona you will find that a sunshade is necessary. Believe me, you don’t want to sit on a leather seat that has been baking in the sun. We really can bake cookies in our vehicle in the summer.
Preparation is a key to handling the harsh summer heat. That certainly beats being stranded in the heat. But if this happens make sure you have signed up for a roadside assistance program. Your cell phone provider may offer roadside or there is always AAA.
Failure to plan is a plan to fail. A little organization goes a long way. What are your summer plans?
#Vacation #family #kidsfun #cartrip #Momslife #Dadslife # maintenance