Give Your Vehicle a Pre-Road Trip Checkup

Getting your vehicle ready for a trip during the hot weather can make a vacation much more stress free.

It is now summer, the time for vacations and lots of car travel. Car travel has been going up in popularity the past few years, with many families choosing to spend their vacations by taking road trips to great spots in the United States. Getting your vehicle ready for a trip during the hot weather can make a vacation much more stress free.

The first stop should be your favorite repair shop, like Stadium Automotive, where you can ask for a pre-trip check. This is most important for vehicles with more than 80,000 miles and those that have not had good, consistent preventive maintenance. The most important focus should be the cooling system, one of the largest and most important systems in your vehicle. About 85 percent of all major engine damage happens when an engine overheats.

Your repair shop should pay special attention to all the cooling hoses, the water pump, radiator and other parts of the system. Newer vehicles include a lot of plastic in the cooling system that gets brittle with age. If one plastic part breaks, it is a good idea to replace all of the plastic parts in the system at once. This includes many water pumps because they have plastic impellers.

An owner’s part in helping the shop diagnose a cooling system is to observe where the temperature gauge settles in after a long, hot drive. This is hard to duplicate in the shop or in town driving. Slightly plugged radiators often are not found without customers telling technicians that a vehicle’s temperature gauge reads high after freeway driving.

Tires, fluids and services also will be checked during this inspection. If you have service records from other shops, let the new technicians see them so they can make informed decisions about what must be done. It is so much easier to be at home doing repairs then waiting in a motel while the car is getting fixed.

-George Rode

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