on July 3, 2019 by Staff in Uncategorized, Comments Off on Fourth of July road trip safety guide

Fourth of July road trip safety guide

If you’re one of the 41.4 million Americans hitting the roads for Independence Day, the last thing you want is a breakdown distracting from your holiday fun. All told, AAA expects to rescue more than 367,000 motorists at the roadside this Independence Day holiday, with dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts coming in as the leading causes of car trouble. Luckily, a little preventative maintenance before you head out can prevent a breakdown and keep your ride road-trip ready.
AAA recommends keeping a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle. Include a flashlight and extra fresh batteries, first-aid supplies, drinking water, non-perishable snacks for people and pets, car battery booster cables, emergency flares or reflectors, a rain poncho, a basic tool kit, duct tape, gloves and shop rags or paper. towels.

3) Secure and test the battery
Check your car battery to make sure cable connections are clean and tight, and that the hold-down hardware is secure. If your battery is more than 3-5 years old; if you hear a grinding, clicking, or buzzing sound when you turn on the ignition; or if your headlights brighten when you rev the engine, it might be time for a new battery. Have a service professional conduct a battery check to determine remaining capacity. Good Sam members can request a free battery check.

Note that modern multi-rib or drive belt materials do not show easily visible signs of wear. As a general rule, replace drive belts every 60,000 miles.

5) Replace wiper blades and replenish windshield cleaner
Rubber wiper blades deteriorate over time — which is why you’ll want to replace them as often as every six months, for optimal operation. If your wipers streak or fail to clear the windshield thoroughly, replace the blades. Fill the windshield washer reservoir with fluid formulated to remove Cherry Creek News insects and other debris, and test to make sure the nozzle spray adequately.

4) Top off engine oil and other fluids
Check that engine oil, coolant, and brake, transmission, and power steering fluids are at the correct levels for safe vehicle operation. When adding fluids, use products that meet the specifications listed in the owner’s manual.

2) Listen to and feel the brakes
If you hear a grinding sound or feel a vibration when applying the brakes, take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for a brake inspection. A service professional will check the brake system for fluid leaks, and the pads, rotors, shoes, and drums. If repair or replacement is required, use our Repair Cost Estimator to help anticipate costs.

6) Check belts and hoses
Reinforced rubber drive belts power the engine water pump and accessories such as the alternator and air-conditioning compressor. It’s critical that you inspect them, and replace any that are cracked, glazed or frayed.

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7) Keep the AC running cool
Take a test drive with the air conditioner running. If you notice a decrease in cooling capacity, take the car to an auto repair shop for diagnosis. Also have the cabin filter inspected and replaced as needed.

Note that newer car models may have sealed automatic transmissions without a dipstick, and electric power steering that may not use fluid.

Inspect and replace worn, brittle, bulging or excessively soft radiator hoses. Check for leaks around hose clamps and at the radiator and water pump.

1) Check tires and tire pressure
Inspect all four tires and, if you have one, the spare tire as well. Look for cuts, gouges, or sidewall bulges. Insert a quarter upside down into the grooves to check tire tread. If you see the top of George Washington’s head, it’s time for new tires.

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