Archive for the ‘check tire pressure’ Tag

Dream Vacation or Nightmare Road Trip? Pre-Trip Vehicle Check Can Make the Difference

Road trip car trouble can be a real nightmare, but performing a pre-trip vehicle check helps drivers avoid a vacation breakdown disaster, says the Car Care Council.

“When dreaming about summer vacation, the thought of a roadside breakdown can be terrifying,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Performing a pre-trip driveway inspection gives motorists peace of mind by reducing the chance of unplanned, costly car trouble and providing an opportunity to have any repairs performed by a trusted technician before hitting the road.”

Right in their own driveway, motorists can determine how road ready their vehicle is with a 10-minute vehicle check. If service or repairs are needed, they can be performed in advance to ensure safety and reliability on the road.

Check the tires including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
Check the hoses and belts as they can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
Check filters and fluids including engine oil, power steering and brake, and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and inspect and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
Check the brakes and battery to be sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free and that the brakes are functioning properly.

The Car Care Council also recommends that motorists restock their emergency kit, consider a pre-trip tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy, and order a free copy of the Car Care Council’s popular Car Care Guide for the glove box at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/dream-vacation-or-nightmare-road-trip-pre-trip-vehicle-check-can-make-the-difference/

Advertisements

5 spring cleaning tips for your car

Winter can do a number on your car.

Slush, salt and cold temperatures take a toll on everything from the tires to the wiper blades. So, with spring around the corner, it’s a good idea to give your car a thorough once-over to undo winter’s damage.

It won’t cost a lot. You can do the work yourself or visit a car wash and service department to get all these services permormed.

Here are five things you can do to shake off winter and get your car in shape for spring:

1. Wash the underbody

Wintertime driving will coat the bottom of your car with salt, sand and other grime that can cause corrosion. Corrosion can lead to rust problems, which can make your car much harder to resell or even dangerous to drive.

Spend a few extra dollars for the undercarriage power wash at the local car wash or spray the car’s bottom with your own hose. There’s no need to use soap or any other cleaner.

While you’re at it, open the hood and wipe down the engine with a soft mitt and soapy water. And remove all the leaves and debris that can find their way into the car. And remove any crusty white residue off the battery with a toothbrush, baking soda and water. The residue — caused by corrosion — can eventually prevent your car from starting. The cleaning also helps prepare the battery for the stress of warmer temperatures.

2. Scrub inside and out

Salt can damage the car’s paint. Give your car a thorough cleaning and wax it.

Scrub the bottoms of doors, which can get coated with grime. Clean the window channels, also apply a silicone spray, which repels dirt and lubricates the surfaces so the windows will operate smoothly.

Use a steam cleaner — you can rent one for $20 at Home Depot — or apply a rug-cleaning spray to remove all the salt from the car’s inside. Salt can break down some fabrics and cause rips or tears when feet grind against them.

And don’t forget to take bags of salt and ice scrapers out of the trunk.

3. Replace wiper blades

Wiper blades get a workout during the winter months. Changing them each spring and fall insures you have good working blades when you need them.

4. Check tires

Check your tire pressure and rotate and align them when neccessary based on your maintenace schedule and how hard the roads were on them over the winter. Cold weather can cause tires to be underinflated and the onset of warm weather can overinflate them. Also, visually inspect your tires to make sure they’re wearing evenly and have plenty of tread for the rainy spring weather ahead.

Driving on properly inflated tires can save you money. It can cost anywhere from $50 to $250 to replace a blown tire, depending on the kind of tire you need. Your vehicle is also more fuel efficient when you drive on properly inflated tires.

5. Check your fluids

Winter weather can deplete some fluids — especially windshield wiper fluid — more quickly, so top them off yourself if they’re too low. A service station can also do the job. You should change your oil around based on your vehicles maintenance schedule regardless of season. Brake and transmission fluids should be checked as well.