Car Tips for a Road Trip Aug 01, 2016 Auto News SuperUser Account Summer is here, which means it’s time to grab the family and take a long drive to some sunny vacation destination! Road trips are as much a part of summer as a burger is with cheese. However, if you don’t consistently take your car on long drives, you might end up finding some nasty problems that you didn’t know existed. That’s why we here at GM Outlet Parts have compiled a guide on how you can make sure your car is ready for the long road ahead! Check the Oil Please, do yourself a favor and take the two minutes to check your oil levels. A car running with low oil levels can absolutely ruin your car, and it’s not something that you should risk. Usually, mechanics will give you a sticker after your last oil change that lets you know at what mileage you should get it changed again. Do not ignore this. Spend the cash and get the oil change. This is especially essential for road trips, as they can put additional stress on your motor. That’s why it’s important to put good clean oil in your car before attempting the long drive ahead. Remember – it’s not a simple case of just adding extra oil. If you limit it to that, you’ll find out that there will be left over sludge from the old oil, leading to problems. So spend a couple bucks and bring it to a shop – they might find even bigger problems ahead of time. Check the Air Filter This is something many – especially new – drivers just don’t seem to think, or even know about. The air filter in your car is what collects all the dirt and dust and essentially supplies clean air to your engine. However, if it’s doing its job right it’s going to get dirty. If it’s too dirty, you’ll need to change it. While it likely won’t break your car down, it will effect your gas mileage. When taking those long summer road trips, we know how precious that gas mileage can be. Check Your Tire Pressure/Spare Tire When driving through the wilderness, you don’t know what can happen. Tires – while resilient – still tend to pop when going over sharp objects. These objects can be hard to see – a tiny piece of glass or a nail can result in a flat tire. It’s good practice to check your tire pressure before you go on your road trip. Again, not only will it make the trip safer but it will also help your fuel economy. It’s also important to check your tire’s tread gauge. A few inches of rubber are all that stands between the pavement and your car, so it’s important to make sure the treading is optimal. Make sure that your tires have about 1/16th” of tread left. Anything below 1/12th” means that it is time for new tires. Of course, it’s always good practice to make sure that your have your spare tire handy. You never know when a nail’s going to be on the road. Lights It’s important that before every road trip you make sure that all of your lights are working properly. This isn’t just for your safety – it’s important for the safety of others. If you have a turn signal bulb burnt out, other drivers can’t know what you’re doing. This can cause an accident, and is dangerous. Before you go on your trip make sure that all lights are working. You will most likely need help doing this. Have someone stand outside your car and go around while you test out all the lights. If a bulb needs replacing, replace it. It’s not worth the risk to attempt to drive without. When planning a road trip, it’s incredibly important that you make sure your car is ready. Many people won’t notice their car having problems, as the majority of their driving is within a short distance from home. Checking your car ensure your safety, as well as the safety of other – so make sure it’s good to go! If your car needs some repairs before taking it on a road trip, bring it by Grosse Pointe Auto!