How to “Pack” Your Car for Vacation

Summer vacation season is almost upon us, and many of us will likely be driving a little more. So if you’re thinking of taking a road trip or a vacation somewhere in your car, you may want to do more than pack the sunscreen. Yep, that’s right. You probably should get your car prepared for the trip, too.

Fortunately, we have a checklist.

Get an oil change. As you probably know, one of the most important things you can do for your car is to change the oil on a regular basis.  If you get your oil changed a few weeks after the date on your oil change sticker, or a little after the mileage count, it isn’t likely to hurt your vehicle.  But if you let it slide and go a year between appointments, you’re really asking for trouble.  If you are planning on taking a long trip across a few states, it’s probably a good idea to get another oil change – assuming you aren’t doing them regularly.

Not only will fresh oil keep your engine running better, if you have old, sludgy oil, and the engine takes longer to heat up, you’re going to use up more fuel on your trip.

Check those tires. If you bring your car in for an oil change at Milex Complete Auto Care, you’ll get your tires checked while the car is there, of course. But if you had an oil change not that long ago, you may want to take a look at your tires before you go on your trip. Or maybe stop at an air pump at a filling station midway in the trip. If your tires are just 6 psi (pressure per square inch) lower than it should be, you’re at risk of tire damage, like a blowout. We don’t need to tell you how much “fun” it is, to have a flat tire or a completely destroyed tire on a vacation. But if you do, hopefully there’s a Milex near you.

It probably goes without saying that if your tires are old and worn, before the vacation – and not during – is probably the time to get some new ones.

Get any repairs done that you’ve been putting off. Prior to making a long trip is the perfect time to bring your car to Milex for any number of maintenance repairs or if you’re having transmission or clutch problems, take it to your nearest Mr. Transmission. If you told your mechanic recently that even though your serpentine belt is a bit threadbare, you feel comfortable driving it awhile longer, maybe now is the time to bring it over and get a replacement? If it snaps into two, your car will stop driving.

Add some washer fluid. After spending several hours on the road, your windshield will collect a mixture dirt, dust and bugs that will block your view.  Not having washer fluid to clean that off as you drive can be an inconvenience at best and dangerous at worst. That, too, we can add at Milex. Along with checking to make sure your brake lights are working and your coolant levels are where they need to be. So as you’re likely gathering, we can do almost everything you need to get your car ready for the trip.

Packing for a trip and spending several hours on the road to get there can be stressful enough.  The last thing you need is to have problems with your car as you are trying to get there.  Many of these routine maintenance measures can be preventable, so make sure you take care of these things in advance to ensure it is one less thing you need to worry about for your trip.


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