As the weather warms up and the calendar turns toward spring, more people are hitting the road for much-needed spring break vacations. While your thoughts may be focused on where to travel and what exciting excursions to check out, leaving the driveway without the proper vehicle preparation can lead to unexpected issues and roadside breakdowns.
The last thing you want to worry about during your adventure is a malfunctioning vehicle. Fortunately, with a little planning and preparation, you can avoid spending your spring break at home looking at your friend’s vacation photos online. Make sure to adventure-proof your car with these five tips.
5 Tips To Prepare Your Car For Spring Break
Here are five tips to help you make sure that your vehicle is ready to hit the road after a long and cold winter:
1. Test The A/C
Your air conditioner may have been a little left behind during the long, cold months of winter. Without regular use, your A/C’s coolant may have run out — leaving you without refreshing cold air if you are heading to warmer climates. While you are checking your air, you will also want to ensure that your cabin filter has been replaced. This will help you keep cool with clean air circulating through your car’s cabin as you travel.
2. Refill Your Vital Fluids
As always, make sure that your fluids are topped off. Check your car’s oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and wiper fluid to keep your levels nice and even. If you notice that any of your fluids are dirty or showing signs of age, you will want to replace them with new fluid before hitting the road.
3. Check Out Your Tires, Brakes, and Suspension
Before any longer trips, it is essential that you ensure that your tires and brakes are in good condition. After the winter, you will want to make sure that your suspension is in balance, as hitting potholes and losing tire pressure during the colder months can knock your car out of alignment, making your trip more complicated than it needs to be.
4. Test Your Lights & Battery
Another important aspect of your vehicle to check is your lights and battery. The fluctuation of temperatures during the winter can often drain your car battery to dangerously low levels. By testing your battery, you can ensure that you don’t have an unexpected issue on the road.
Also, test your lights to make sure none are broken or burned-out. This can help you avoid losing vision in bad weather or at night and keep you from spending time with your local authorities.
5. Visit A Local Mechanic for Seasonal Checks & Maintenance
Above all else, one of the best ways to ensure that your vehicle is ready to hit the road this spring is by visiting a trained and licensed mechanic. Every mechanic should know what aspects of a vehicle should be checked and maintained each season. Your mechanic will give you a rundown of what should be taken care of for your vehicle’s age and mileage, as well as take a look at any winter wear and tear.
Enjoy Your Spring Drives With Proper Planning
As we are looking for ways to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, taking the time to plan and prepare ahead of any trips will allow you to travel with peace of mind to wherever you want to go.
As with any trip, ensure that you practice safe driving and always keep an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle to avoid being stranded without resources. Even though the months may be turning warmer, winter can still sneak up and surprise you — especially on long drives. Plan today, and enjoy your drive tomorrow.
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