Everyone at COS and Central Station wants to wish you a very
happy summer! We hope it’s off to a good start, and today’s blog is all about
what you need to do before you enjoy that vacation you’ve been planning for
months! Nobody wants to start off his or her family vacation with a breakdown!
Tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations will go a long way in
making sure you don’t start your vacation off on a bad foot.
Here are 6 (yes, six) maintenance checks to remember before
you hit the road:
Check your Tires
We suggest you check your tire pressure, tread wear,
and your spare tire. It’s completely
normal for your tires to lose air over time—tires do not need to be punctured
to lose air. It’s also important to remember that the number listed on the tire
itself is not the correct pressure for your vehicle. Under inflation is the
leading cause of tire failure, so don’t forget to check your air!
When you’re checking the air in your tires, also be sure to
look for wear on the tread. If the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch, it’s
time to replace those tires.
How do you tell, you ask? Just use the penny test!
Place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down.
If you can see top of his head, your vehicle needs new tires! And, if you find
uneven tread wear, it means that your tires need to be rotated and/or your
wheels need aligning.
Check your Wiper Blades
After all that ice and snow (yes, SNOW in Louisiana!) we had
this winter, it’ll be necessary for you to check the wear and tear on your
wiper blades. If your wipers look like they need some TLC, just toss ‘em. That
means it’s time for new ones, anyway!
Look at your Cooling System (Antifreeze)
Your radiator needs water and antifreeze to keep your engine
functioning properly, especially in the hotter months. When your car is cold
(meaning, it hasn’t been running recently), carefully check the coolant level
to make sure that the reservoir is full.
Also please note that if your coolant looks clear (it should
be bright neon yellow or red, depending on your vehicle), it is time to have
the cooling system flushed and refilled. The big red flag here is if your
coolant looks sludgy—immediately take your vehicle to a mechanic if this is the
(For more information on coolant and which one you need for
your car, please see our blog dedicated completely to antifreeze!)
Look at your Fluid Levels
By fluids, we mean: look at your oil, transmission, power
steering, and windshield washer fluids!
Make sure your reservoirs are full! And if there is any sign
of leakage, its probably better to go ahead and take your vehicle in the be
Check your Lights!
Don’t forget to make sure all your lights are working properly!
Check your turn signals, headlights, brake lights, emergency flashers, and
interior lights! Also, if you’re towing a trailer, don’t forget to look at the
brake lights and turn signals on those, as well.
Look at Belts and Hoses
Be sure to inspect your belts and hoses to make sure there
are no bulges, cracks, blisters, or cuts in the rubber. If you see signs of
these things starting, it’s better to get those replaced now because hot
temperatures will only exacerbate these problems.
And there you have it! Six important maintenance checks to
do before you burn rubber! For more information, please call 1-800-883-8081.