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Inspect Your Car Before a Trip

Man Filling Tire with Air

With the holidays on their way, while some visits are out of reach or inadvisable in the current climate, many people will still hit the roads to see distant family in the next few months. If you’re one of those ambitious road trippers, make sure your car’s service is up to date before you get underway, especially in these crucial areas.


Without the liquids that run through your car, you likely won’t get very far. Beyond keeping the gas tank full, the oil, brake fluid, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid are all crucial to the success of your road trip, and each one needs service regularly. Check the driver’s manual in your car to see how often you need to flush each system or change the oil or ask a technician you trust.

Take care of each fluid a couple of weeks before your planned trip so you have time to react if anything needs fixing. If you just changed the oil recently or you won’t need to flush out the radiator until after the journey, you probably don’t need to get your car unscheduled maintenance, but be sure to keep up with the timeline your mechanic or driver’s manual gave you.


Unless your battery is brand new, there’s always a chance it can give out on you, leaving you stranded at some point along the trip. To avoid a drained battery, test the system beforehand. Clean off any corroded ports and look for leaks or cracks, and if you think the battery is getting old, ask your mechanic to examine it and run tests to see how long it will last.


You probably don’t want to be in the middle of an unfamiliar area when your windshield fluid runs out or your wipers start leaving streaks you can’t see past. Make your wiper fluid one of the essentials that you check along with the rest. Test your wipers to see if they do their job correctly. Both potential issues are easy to fix on your own, but take care of them before a problem, not during.


You’ll probably run into significant issues if your brakes have worn down, so make sure you’re up to date on your maintenance for each part of the system. If your brake pads are worn down, replace them. This step isn’t necessary very often, but if you’ve heard squealing or notice that you last changed them a long time ago, have your mechanic check them out to make sure you’re safe.


Your tires should have a certain level of air pressure within them, and if they don’t have it, you’re more likely to cause your tires harm — not to mention the rest of your vehicle. Check the pressure beforehand, and make sure you’re within the limits granted by the manufacturer. Most tires will have a recommended amount or limit for air pressure listed on them, but if you’re not sure, ask.

While you look at the tires, check the tread as well. If they’re worn or starting to rub smooth anywhere, you could put yourself and your passengers in danger. Even if the tread seems sufficient, don’t forget to rotate them routinely as different spots can wear the tires out at different rates. If you don’t remember when you last rotated your tires, do it before your trip to be on the safe side.

For all of these services, you’ll need a center you can trust, so look into Evans Tire & Service Centers. The company is made up of experts in automotive service who have served San Diego reliably for 40 years. Contact us today to see how we can make your car roadworthy.

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