Is Your Car Road Trip-Ready?
Spring and summer are coming up soon, and that means a lot of Alaskans are thinking about their road trip destinations. At Alignment Center and Alaska Car & Truck, we want you to have real peace of mind when you head out on the highway this summer, so here’s a checklist you might want to go over before everyone starts packing suitcases:
· Tires: Get a good look at all your tires for tread depth, proper inflation and any bulges, scuffs, splits or other problems that could cause you a real headache on the road. Since tire rotations should be done at roughly 5,000 mile intervals, it’s a good idea to have a rotation performed before hitting the road – it pays off in terms of road handling and ride quality anyway.
· Battery: Extreme heat is the enemy of any car’s battery. Make sure your battery’s up to the job by having the cranking power tested, and make sure that the cables and terminals are clean, tight and free of corrosion buildup.
· Hoses and Belts: Nothing can shut things down quicker than a failed hose or belt. Make sure they’re all in good shape before going any farther. A pressure check can indicate any weak spots on hoses or hose clamps, and examine the serpentine belt for cracks, frayed edges or missing teeth. If your vehicle has a timing belt rather than a chain and you’re close to the manufacturer’s recommended interval for a change, that’s something you will definitely want to have addressed before getting on the road.
· Transmission: If you’re going to be hauling a heavy load or towing a trailer, this is a good time to go ahead and have the transmission flushed and refilled. The heat generated by towing is bad for your transmission, and clean, fresh transmission fluid can give it a fighting chance.
· Trouble bag: Better safe than sorry! Pack a trouble bag with a good flashlight, road flares or triangles, a Leatherman-style multi-tool, high-protein snacks, duct tape, a first aid kit and maybe a change of socks and underwear for everyone.
· Oil and filter: We’re sure you’ve been conscientious about oil changes…but if you’re coming up on the oil change interval, go ahead and have it changed before getting out of town. What’s the oil look like? Honey colored and translucent, a little darker or the color of black coffee? If it’s dark and dirty-looking, it’s time.
At Alignment Center and Alaska Car & Truck, we want you and your family to be safe on the road this spring and summer, and there’s no substitute for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re driving a well-maintained, reliable car. Our service department’s techs are trained and experienced in all aspects of auto repair and maintenance, for practically anything that has four wheels and rolls. Give us a call, make an appointment and let us make sure you’re in good shape before you go any farther!