1. Check Your Fluids - Run your car for a few minutes and then check the oil. It should be in the ok range and it should also be clean on your dipstick. Oil changes are recommended at different intervals ranging from 3,000 miles to 7,500 miles. Check your owner’s manual for the recommendations for your vehicle. If the dipstick is at the add mark, you need to add oil. Regardless of mileage if your oil is dirty you should consider an oil change.
2. Check Your Windshield Wiper Blades - Good wiper blades will be a real benefit during summer rainstorms and thunderstorms, which can occur without much notice. Winter conditions tend to cause blades to become hard and inefficient. Check all your fluid levels including, wiper fluid to make sure everything is topped up before you leave.
3. Know Your Tires – You should know the proper inflation for your tires. You can find this in your vehicle documentation, tire documentation, or on the sidewall of the tire. Then grab your tire pressure gauge and check their inflation. The heat of summer will increase your tire pressure so it’s a good idea to test before you drive far.
Remember to include your spare in your tire check.
If you are driving with tires that are underinflated you a blowout, while an overinflated tire puts you at risk of hydroplaning in rainy weather. Properly inflated tires will increase your fuel efficiency by as much as 3% so there’s a real benefit to making sure you check your tires.
While you are at it, take a minute to check the tire tread. Use a penny – stick it in the gaps with the head face down. If you can see the head it’s time for new tires.
4. Visit Your Mechanic – A visit to your mechanic is a good idea before any long trip or for your regular maintenance if you don’t do it yourself. Your car will need regular tune-ups and regular oil and filter changes.
5. Check Belts and Hoses – Check for heavy wear or cracking and replace before they fail.
6. Be Prepared – Always carry an emergency kit with you that includes a first aid kit, jumper cables, air compressors, blankets, and it is also a good idea to carry water and energy bars.