Going on a road trip or enjoying one last hurrah before summer’s up can be an exhilarating way to spend a vacation. Who’s got the sunscreen? Where’s the map? Those are popular questions. A much-less-common question is, “who’s prepped the car for all of this driving?”

Though the question could get you labelled a buzzkill, you’ll have a much more enjoyable trip by taking a few minutes to at least consider your vehicle’s preparedness for the trek ahead. A visual scan of your tires, battery, and windshield is much better than nothing, but to be fully covered you’ll want to take your vehicle in to All Around Auto Repair to check the following:

Fluid Levels 

Your vehicle has a dizzying amount of fluids: oil, radiator, transmission, power steering, brake, washer, and air conditioning. Woah, that’s a lot of different levels to make sure are up to snuff before pulling out of the driveway! Most people only think about windshield washer fluid.

The fact is that your vehicle could really benefit from a change of engine oil before a whopper of a road trip. All Around Auto Repair provides blended synthetic oils to remove nasty particles from your engine and keep it running as efficiently as possible.

Longer road trips might call for a slightly tweaked formula. All Around Auto Repair can put fully synthetic engine oil in your vehicle. Synthetic oil will help to prevent your engine from overheating if you’re lugging a trailer or driving for hundreds of miles in swelteringly hot weather.

Both your drive axle and transmission need lubrication as well, which is where comprehensive auto care at All Around Auto Repair comes in.

Inspect the Battery 

If your battery is a few years old, then check your battery’s terminals before heading out on a big trip. A lackluster starter means that there’s corrosion or your battery is heading the way of the pterodactyl. In either case, a replacement is probably necessary.

If you suspect something has gone terribly wrong, then feel free to crack open the hood of your vehicle and check for visible signs of corrosion (e.g., a white layer near your battery’s terminals). Acid leaks and cracks are surefire signs that your battery is on the fritz. Coming in to All Around Auto Repair and having the output voltage tested is a good idea if you’re in doubt.

In case you feel totally out of your depth with the battery, All Around Auto Care can make sure that your leads are tight and that you’re not jeopardizing the health of your alternator. Most batteries last for about five to seven years, although many batteries have to be replaced after three years. Come in to All Around Auto Repair for a battery check and comprehensive auto care before a big trip.

Check the Hot Wheels  

In a pretty literal sense, hot wheels could be a problem on a road trip: Heat causes the PSI level in each of your tires to rise. Check your tire pressure before heading out!

And most people don’t think about it quite this way, but your tires are (hopefully!) your vehicle’s only point of contact with the road, so check your tread levels.

Any kind of vibration at highway speeds of about 70 miles per hour means that your tires probably need to be balanced and rotated. Tire rotation can ensure even wear throughout your tires.

If your steering wheel is pulling to one side, then your tires likely need to be aligned before you set off on a road trip. Contact All Around Auto Repair to schedule an appointment.