With the start of summer now here, families are starting to plan their vacation trips. Due to the many travel restrictions from COVID-19, more people will be driving to their vacation destinations this year. This places an increased importance on making sure your car is running properly before heading out on the road this summer.
A recent survey by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), reflected the increase in car travel this summer with the following numbers:
-78 percent of the respondents said they would be driving to their summer vacation spot in 2020.
-62 percent said they planned to take their personal car, up from 36 percent last year.
-54 percent said they would be traveling more than 400 miles roundtrip to and from their destination.
-63 percent plan on traveling the same distance or longer for their summer vacation this year.
Along with feeling a reluctance to fly, people are taking advantage of low gas prices to travel by car. National average gas prices at the start of summer is $2.11 per gallon, more than 50 cheaper than the national average at the same time last year ($2.67).
With more people hitting the road this summer, local car care experts with Mr. Transmission and Milex Complete Auto Care are letting people know the proper ways to take care of their vehicle to help them get safely to their vacation destination.
Summer Car Care Checklist
Here are some areas on the car our professionals recommend checking to ensure a safe, comfortable and problem-free road trip:
Cooling Systems - Car engines can overheat after spending several hours on the interstate while driving at high speeds in the hot summer temperatures. It is important to make sure you have the proper type of engine coolant, it is a 50/50 coolant and water mixture and it is filled to the correct levels.
Battery – Car batteries can deteriorate quickly and without much warning. Between extended engine use, air conditioning, radio, GPS and other passenger electronics, a long trip can contribute in draining a car’s battery. Most batteries have a 4-5 year lifespan and it is important to test the battery prior to making a long trip.
Tires – Car owners should monitor the proper air pressure and amount of tread on each tire and have them properly aligned and balanced. The air in the tires expands when the weather gets hotter, so owners will want to make sure tires are not over-inflated.
Suspension system – We often load up the car with a family of passengers, luggage and personal items when making a summer roadtrip. The additional weight on the vehicle causes a strain on the suspension system, which includes the springs, shock absorbers and struts. Worn suspension components may reduce the stability of the vehicle and reduce driver control, as well as accelerate wear on other suspension system components.
Air filter – A car’s air filter should be changed each year or every 15,000 miles. This gives the vehicle a good supply of clean air and prevents poor fuel economy and performance. A convenient time to have the filter checked or replaced is during oil change appointments.