With the anticipation of spring break around the corner in West Michigan, many people are beginning to feel the call of the road and the desire to head somewhere much warmer. And while they’re busy planning their final destination, choosing their perfect travel companions, settling on the routes and booking reservations for hotel or condo stays, they may be missing out on one of the most important factors in taking any long distance trip… getting their car, van, truck or SUV road ready. Long trips with a lot of miles are tough on your car so a little bit of pampering ahead of time isn’t a bad idea, in fact it’s quite the opposite. Save yourself some frustrations and unwanted expenses while out of town and look over our check list of ways to get your vehicle road ready. Before you head out, you should do the following:
Regularly scheduled maintenance
Oil change, new air filter, transmission flush, radiator flush and tune up are all important maintenance for your vehicle to run properly. Remember, a little bit of maintenance goes a long way.
Cold weather doesn’t just drain our bodies and souls in Michigan… it also takes its toll on our battery’s life. Listed as one of the top culprits for roadside assistance calls, dead batteries are not only inconvenient but can also become dangerous if they leave you stranded in frigid temps or caught in a desolate location during a storm. Check your battery beforehand to ensure its connections are clean, tight and corrosion free. We also recommend having it tested at a local parts store to see how much battery life is left and replacing batteries that are 3 years or older.
Heating & Cooling
Heading south for Spring Break means incurring warmer climates. Do yourself a favor and check both your vehicle’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems to make sure they are working properly before taking your trek. Chances are, you will need both at some point during that long drive.
Have your brake systems checked, including brake pads, rotors, drums and brake linings. Doing so can not only help your vehicle brake better but save you unwanted expensive repairs by catching worn out pads before damage gets done to your rotors.
Fluids are the lifeblood of your vehicle and if you’re missing a significant amount, it can take its toll on your vehicle. Check your vehicle’s oil, power steering, antifreeze, brake, transmission and washer fluid to ensure there is the proper amount before beginning your trip and keep an eye on their levels throughout your journey. Doing so can notify you of a problem before it becomes serious as well as helping your vehicle perform at its best.
Tires are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, making their job especially critical. Under-inflated tires, tires with worn treads can reduce your traction and undermine the control you have over your vehicle. In addition, under-inflated tires can reduce your fuel efficiency, causing you to have to refuel more often and cost you more money.
Your vehicle has various filters within it to capture dirt, grit and grime to keep your car running smoothly. Replace your air filter, oil filter, fuel filter and PVC regularly to help your engine not only run better but improve its gas mileage.
Extreme temperatures can take their toll on the rubber that makes up your vehicle’s belts and hoses. But taking a few minutes to inspect them for any cracks, frays or wear that could compromise their integrity and cause them to break could mean the difference between a vehicle that runs well and one that leaves you stranded. Replace hoses or belts that look suspicious before they break.
As the days become shorter in Winter, your lights become even more important. Make sure all of your lights are clean and functioning properly, replacing any that are burnt out. If you find they are in need of cleaning, try using toothpaste and a rag to clean them.
You never know what can happen on the road and the further you go, the less likely you can call a friend to come help you out. Carry a flashlight, tools, jumper cables, water and a blanket in your vehicle just in case you need them.
It’s not a bad idea to have a trusted mechanic give your vehicle a once over before taking it on a long road trip. Give yourself some time before your trip (1 to 2 weeks out) just in case they find something wrong, you have time to have it repaired.
If you’re questioning whether your vehicles is as road ready as you’d like for that drive, check out our extensive inventory of reliable used vehicles that come backed by a warranty. At Broadmoor Motors, we specialize in finding the right used car, minivan, truck, or SUV to fit your personal or business needs, all while giving you the best deal we can on both your purchase and trade in. Our family has been in the car business for over 60 years and continues to be family owned and operated in both our Caledonia and Hastings locations with financing available to those who qualify, we will find you the right vehicle to fit both your budget and your needs.
Let Broadmoor Motors save you time and money when buying your next quality, Pre-Owned Car or Work Truck and on your next Car Rental. Whether you need a short term car rental, long term car rental, a replacement while your vehicle is getting serviced or simply need to replace your car, minivan, truck or SUV with a great used vehicle, we can help you out. Broadmoor Motors is here for all your Car Rental, Car Sales, and Auto Service needs in the greater Grand Rapids and Barry County area. Give us a call at 616.698.9595 in Caledonia or 269.320.6304 in Hastings to see how we can get you back on the road!