School’s out for summer! The summer months are popular for road trips, but it’s important to make sure your car is taken care of before you hit the road. Whether you’re just heading one state over or driving across the country, these are some maintenance tasks you should check off before leaving:

Check or replace air filters.

Dirty and clogged air filters decrease your engine’s performance, gas mileage, and cabin air quality, so check to see if they need replacing. They are inexpensive and quick to replace, so this is a task you can easily check off.

Take care of any dashboard lights.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out why your check engine light is on. If any dashboard lights are on and you don’t know why, bring your vehicle in for a diagnostic scan to find what’s wrong.

Check wiper blades and wiper fluid.

If you’re going on a longer trip, you’ll definitely want your wiper blades to be in good shape in the event of rain. In addition, if you’re driving on any dirt roads, you’ll need to clear your windshield off with wiper fluid. These are also added safety steps to make sure you can always see the road.

Get an oil change if needed.

Especially if you’re headed cross-country, you should get your oil changed to make sure that your engine will run efficiently. It’s recommended to change your oil every 3,000-5,000 miles depending on your vehicle, so calculate your traveling distance and whether or not you’ll need this task done.

Inspect or replace the battery.

Car batteries have trouble in very hot temperatures, so if your battery is old, it’s best to get it replaced before heading out on a long trip. High temps can cause the battery fluid to evaporate, so when possible, park in shaded areas to keep the vehicle cooler.

Check tire pressure.

It’s a good idea to check the pressure in all four tires before heading off. A tire pressure gauge and the recommended PSI chart, typically on the interior of the driver’s door, will let you know if you need to fill or release the air in any of the tires.

Get a tire rotation if necessary.

Your tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, so if it’s been longer than that since your last rotation, make sure to get your car in the shop. Tire rotations extend the life of the tire, and without that task, you could risk having uneven wear.

The technicians at Auto Works are here to help get your car ready for the road. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, give us a call.