Did you know that, according to Apple’s Mobility Trends, driving is up by over 50 percent in the US? The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to disrupt air travel, which makes vehicles even more important this summer.
However, if you’ve been working from home or using your car less, you should consider running through our short maintenance checklist before hitting the road. With these tips, you can avoid winding up stuck on the side of the road - especially in the high summer temperatures across the country.
If you haven’t been using your car regularly, your top priority should be to make sure the battery is in good condition. Typically, batteries last for at least three years, but it can vary by your location and routine use. If you live in a southern state and have been working remotely, you might lose battery fluid to rapid evaporation. Unless you have a brand new battery, it’s considered a best practice to have this checked before traveling long distances.
It can be easy to forget about what exactly is going on under the hood when you’re not driving much. Getting an oil change is generally the top priority, but coolant is just as important in the summer. The most significant cause of breakdowns this season is from overheating, which can catch you off-guard and leave you stranded in the heat. If you’re driving long distances, then be sure to check your brake fluid as well. It’s typically one that flies under the radar, but it’s crucial for your safety and passengers.
Once you’ve confirmed that your vehicle is ready for a lengthy journey, it’s good practice to check your tires. With the hot summer temperatures, they might seem overinflated, but that doesn’t mean you should dramatically deflate them. Tire pressure is finicky because it shifts with changes in temperature. Just make sure that your tires are at 35 PSI before you drive. And don’t forget to check your tire tread!
If you’re like me and park your car outside all year round, you should have your exterior cleaned before hitting the road. While it might seem counterintuitive, it helps to clean off your windshield and windows for greater visibility. A quality hand wash and wax can also address any blemishes that have accumulated, such as artillery fungus. You might come home with a dirtier car than when you left, but you can’t go wrong with a quality wash or detail before hitting the highway.
Since you’ll spend a lot of time inside your car, it’s a good idea to start clean for the long road ahead. Whether it’s a quick once-over with a vacuum or thorough disinfection, it’s well worth it to put some love into the cabin before driving for several hours or more. If you notice an odd odor coming from your A/C system, you should consider replacing your cabin air filter for cleaner breathing.
If you’re looking to clean up your vehicle before and after hitting the road this summer, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Spiffy. We’re eager to get your car ready for your exciting trip, so you can focus on making the most of it!
Haven’t booked an appointment with Spiffy before? Take $20 off your first service, just for giving us a try!