With summer around the corner, and your vacation itinerary packed with tons of sightseeing adventures, now is the time for a professional vehicle inspection at your local car service center. While your vehicle has gotten you through work and school commutes just fine, these commutes differ from long interstate treks. A car inspection is critical before a road trip, ensuring you can get maintenance needs addressed and safely travel without getting stuck roadside.
Can My Car Handle a Road Trip?
Most regularly maintained, well-performing vehicles should be able to manage a long drive, but unknown issues not apparent during short, daily trips may surface during a long trek. For this reason, regardless of vehicle age, you should always schedule an inspection with your auto mechanic before a road trip. Newer, low-mileage cars typically require only a brief examination. Older and high-mileage vehicles require a more thorough check to ensure they are prepared, especially for coast-to-coast journeys.
Pre-Trip Summer Car Maintenance Checklist
Take your car in for regular maintenance at your local auto repair shop, making sure these vehicle components are in good condition before taking a long trip:
Tires must be properly inflated and in good condition. Replace tires with cracks, bald spots, or irregular wear that could cause problems with blowouts, braking, or traction on wet roads.
Never take a car with brakes that squeak, grind, or cause your vehicle to shake violently when in use on a road trip. A quick brake check can determine safety and optimal stopping power which is essential at high interstate speeds.
Wipers and washer fluid
Driving in the rain and behind large trucks that kick up dirt and debris makes smooth, streak-free windshield wiper operation and access to cleaning fluid crucial on the road.
An oil change and fluid check help you avoid unexpected operational surprises from low coolant, power steering, transmission, and brake fluid levels.
Malfunctioning auto air conditioning in the summer makes for a miserable trip and impacts window fogging in the rain.
Steering and suspension
Does your car need suspension repairs? Responsive steering and a well-performing suspension ensure a smooth, comfortable ride and better traction control when turning and braking.
When to Schedule a Car Inspection Before a Road Trip
Our car repair professionals recommend inspecting your car at least two to three weeks before your trip. Consider bringing in older, high-mileage vehicles sooner to ensure enough time to fix any problems. Adequate time also makes it easier to manage auto parts shortages and shipping delays that have become more common in recent years, without putting your trip on hold.
Schedule a Vehicle Inspection
Enjoy the peace of mind of a comfortable, well-performing vehicle on your upcoming trip. Get your car inspected at RJ's Tire Pros & Auto Experts. We provide fast, affordable auto repair and maintenance for drivers in Yakima, Selah, Naches, Union Gap, West Valley, and East Valley. Call us at 509-453-8170 to schedule an appointment or complete our online appointment form today.