Vehicle Maintenance Tips

Here at Pit Stop Auto Repair know exactly how it feels (from experience) to get going on an anticipated vacation in your vehicle and be held back by your vehicle breaking down every other mile, or have some type of an emergency where you must take your vehicle to an auto repair shop you are unfamiliar with.  Here are a few tips of what to do before leaving on a trip, and things to ensure you have available before setting off. 

  • Take your car to your regular mechanic's shop two weeks prior to your trip for a routine diagnostic.  Make sure to tell your mechanic what type of terrain (uphill, downhill, snowy, etc.)  you will be driving in so they are able to look at the equipment that may cause you trouble in certain areas
     
  • Take along some extra supplies that your car might need while on the road: Fix-A-Flat or a similar product in case of a flat tire; A new bottle of anti-freeze and transmission fluid may come in handy; Jumper cables, a small box of tools including screw drivers, pliers, a few spare radiator hose clamps that you can get from your mechanic, roll of electrical tape, and a hand towel to wipe your hands should all be packed in your car
     
  • A few recommendations that will aid in driver comfort are: Install new wiper blades and fill up the washer bottle with windshield washer solvent to help keep the windshield clean (seems wiper blades are never thought about unless it is raining).
     
  • If it is raining during your drive, don’t forget to bring along rain gear in case of an emergency situation in where you would be standing in the rain for a long period of time.
     
  • Make sure that you have the following items in your car before you leave: flashlight, pen, paper, and some type of camera (cell phone, digital, polaroid, anything) in case of an accident.
     
  • Always keep a first aid kit somewhere in your vehicle.

General Maintenance by Season:

  Summer:

  • Radiator Flush, the coolant in your radiator doesn’t last forever, especially after it hasn’t bee used over the winter season.
     
  • Oil Changes are more crucial during the summer months, as you need more lubrication for your engine in the hot weather.
     
  • Wiper blades should be checked as a precaution, the brutal treatment by using them so often in the winter may break them down, making them useless in a summer rain shower.
     
  • Check your air-filter.
     
  • Consider a tune-up.
     
  • Have your air conditioner checked to make sure you have the appropriate amount of freon.
     
  • Check your cooling system, to be sure your engine is well-prepared for the hot temperatures.
     
  • Replenish all fluids, don’t let your vehicle become dehydrated.
     
  • Check your tire pressure - regardless of season, you should check tire pressure as a safety precaution.

Winter:

  • Get your oil changed.
     
  • Have your cooling system checked - it can directly effect the operation of your heater.
     
  • Get your electrical system tested - it is in high demand and works harder in winter.
     
  • Take a closer look at your tires. With the rainy season upon you, the slick roads from fresh rain mixed with bad traction on tires can equal a disaster.
     
  • Check your wiper blades. Tis the season to be rainy, make sure you're prepared.
     
  • Headlights should be checked regularly, but especially in the winter months with shorter daylight hours.
     
  • Some things you might want to keep in your car/trunk are warm clothes, a first aid kit, blanket, flashlight, energy bars, and anything you think would be helpful in an emergency situation.