So here I am (Sarah AKA Non-Mechanic), getting ready to take a camping trip with my family. The first thing I think of is making sure I have a tarp to cover my tent in case it rains when I’m sleeping. My guys here at the shop think about my vehicle and making sure it’s safe to make the 4 hour drive. While I keep up on my maintenance, the last thing they want to do is come save a fellow employee and her family and car full of camping gear from the side of the road. So, I ask a few questions and Dave, our newest mechanic gives me a rundown of some road trip maintenance that I need to do before next weekend.
1. Get your car in 2 weeks before your trip to make sure you have the time needed for any services
2. Bring your car to a reputable shop, not just an “Oil Change Place” so they can check out the whole vehicle and not just the oil
3. Ask the shop for a whole pre-trip inspection, Bud’s will do our basic 29pt plus extras (check code history, extended road test (freeway transmission, brake feel, basic handling test), remove wheels to check brakes and front end components, functionality of towing hitch and lights, loss of coolant = head gasket integrity check and pressure check, headlight buffing check
The items that Dave specifically recommends have done/checked are:
- Oil Change
- If you’re going over a Washington pass you will be cool, cold, hot or warm, all in one day
- A clean cabin air filter will be really helpful if you need to use that A/C on a hot day like we’ve been having this last week. It will smell better but also give you more pressure.
- Tread wear
- Pressure check, balanced and rotated
- A leaking head gasket is not one that you’d want to chance on a long trip for sure!
- SPARE TIRE
- Make sure that you have your jack (know how to use it or have a good road side service plan), the tire has good pressure and is easy to get to.