Auto Tips & Tricks

Taking a Vacation?

Perform these four checks on your car before you go!

posted May 26th, 2021

Whether you are planning to drive, fly, or take a train or boat, your travel will still involve your car in some capacity. That is why you should make sure that you check your vehicle for these four things before you leave.

Pugh's Automotive Service, Dover, DE, 19901, Toro Dealer, Toro Z-Turn MowersCheck Your Fluids

This includes checking the condition and level of your oil, Anti-freeze, Transmission fluid, Brake fluid, Power Steering fluid, and Washer Fluid. Checking the level of your fluids is simple. Most vehicles have dipsticks or clearly marked reservoirs. See your owner’s manual for locations of each reservoir. It should have pretty pictures to help you identify each one.

Checking the condition of your fluids is also simple, but it’s important to know what you are looking for. For example, Motor Oil is translucent. Dark black or Tan Colored Motor Oil is ready for a change. Brake Fluid and some Power Steering Fluids are translucent, too. They should never be dark in color. Transmission Fluid is a light red. If your Transmission Fluid is Burgundy or Black, it’s time to change it.

Check your Engine Hoses & Belts

While you are under your hood, check your Belts and Hoses. Grasp your Hoses fully, they should be firm with NO weak feeling areas. Your Belts should NOT be Glossy, Cracking, or have any Frayed Areas. Bad belts and hoses will stop your vacation and lead to very costly repairs, so make sure that they contain none of the above issues!

Check Your Lights, Horn, and Wipers!

Next on our checklist is making sure your Headlights, Car Horn, and Windshield Wipers work.
Checking your Headlights is easy. If you turn them on, step out of the car, and they are lit… they work! If they aren’t on, it’s time to get a new bulb.

Unfortunately, Replacing Headlights is not always simple with today’s cars and trucks, so you may have to take it to repair shop like Pugh’s Service -Automotive- to help you out.

To make sure your horn is working, give the center of the steering wheel a good push. Did you hear a loud beep? If so, it works. If not, call and schedule a Free Inspection at Pugh’s Service -Automotive- so we can help you figure out what is causing the issue.

Finally, don’t forget your Windshield Wipers. These are often forgotten until we need them, which is when a Summer Storm hits, and they don’t clear the way like they should. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your Wiper Blades, then it is probably time got yourself some new ones.

Pugh's Automotive Service, Dover, DE, 19901, Toro Dealer, Toro Z-Turn MowersCheck your Tires!

Remember those summer storms we just discussed? If the sky lets loose, you will want to make sure your Tires are able to handle the weather, so you don’t Hydroplane all over the road.

In order to make sure your Tires can handle the rain mother nature throws at you, check your Tire’s Air Pressure. All of today’s cars and trucks have yellow and black Tire Inflation Specification Stickers on the Driver’s Door jam.

Next, find a penny. In case you have forgotten what one looks like in this age of plastic payment, here is a picture! This is how you will check to make sure that you have plenty of Tire Tread left.Place the penny as shown. The top of Abe’s head should be the minimum amount of Tire Tread. If your tread is lower, then it is time for a new set of Tires. Driving with low Tire Tread will cause your car to hydroplane and cause accidents. If there is something that you want to avoid on your vacation, it is a car accident.

You’re Ready to Roll!

With these tips you should be able to have an enjoyable and safe vacation trip.

There is a lot here, so if you need a professional set of eyes to help you out, remember that there is no shame bringing your car to a Professional Mechanic.

At Pugh’s Service -Automotive- we will inspect your vehicle at no charge. This means peace of mind at no cost. Sounds like a no brainer!

Hopefully this blog helps with the enjoyment of your summer and vacation. See you when you get back!