How to Get Your Car Summer Road Trip Ready

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car repair portland

Planning a Summer Road Trip? Avoid Car Repair by Following this Checklist

Summer is coming to Portland. Many Portlanders are still quarantined due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. However, Multnomah County has announced plans to apply for Phase 1 of Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s reopening plan for Oregon’s economy. As our community continues to adapt with new guidelines designed to help curb the spread of COVID-19, summer road trips are likely one of the only ways to safely enjoy a summer vacation this year. Make sure your car is ready and avoid unnecessary car repairs by following this checklist before and after your road trip!

Summer Road Trip Car Maintenance Checklist

Before heading out on a summer road trip to get out of the house, make sure that your car is ready to go. Car maintenance is an essential component of road safety. Protect yourself and others by following this checklist:

1. Check the Tires

Many car owners neglect their tires over the winter due to the rain and cold. However, make sure that your tires are road trip ready by verifying the following:

  • Safe Tire Pressure. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the temperature rises, your tire pressure increases by one psi. Ensure that your tires are correctly inflated to avoid a blowout on the road.
  • Sufficient Tread. Ensure that your tires have enough tread to keep you and your family safe on the road. Insufficient tread can lead to blowouts or loss of traction on the street, compromising both your safety and the safety of other motorists.

2. Check Under the Hood

Before embarking on your summer journey, make sure you check under the hood.

  • Oil. Make sure that you check your car’s oil before leaving on your trip. Low oil pressure can cause significant problems with your engine, and contaminated oil can cause issues as well.
  • Coolant. Ensure that your vehicle’s coolant is topped off before heading out on your adventure to avoid an unnecessary breakdown.
  • Windshield Wiper Fluid. No one wants to get caught in a storm on the road without properly functioning windshield wipers. Windshield wiper fluid keeps your field of vision clear and keeps you safe on the road.
  • Battery. Ensure that your battery is in good shape by checking the terminals. Make sure that they’re free of any buildup or residue.
  • Air filter. Your vehicle’s air filter is its first line of defense against outside contaminants. Most manufacturers recommend that car owners replace their air filters every 12,000 miles.

3. Schedule a Brake Inspection

summer road trip car maintenance portland

Ensure that you and your family stay safe on the road this summer by following this car maintenance checklist. Call Ken Van Damme’s Automotive for any needed car maintenance or repairs, including auto ac repair and brake inspections!

If you, like most Portlanders, haven’t been using your vehicle much for the last few months, you must get your brakes inspected before a long road trip. Brakes are critical for road safety, both for you and your family and for others on the road. Ensure that the brake pads and rotors are in good shape. If there’s any doubt, replace them. You can schedule a brake inspection with the ASE-certified technicians at Ken Van Damme’s Automotive in Portland today. Call now!

4. Check the Lights

Ensure that all of your vehicle’s lights are working correctly, including headlights, fog lights, turn signals, and brake lights. Your car’s lights are one of the most important ways for you to communicate with other motorists on the road; it’s paramount to road safety that your lights work correctly.

5. Check the Air Conditioner

Make sure that you check the function of your air conditioner, especially if you haven’t driven your car since March. No one wants to be trapped in a car with a bunch of overheated family members. Keep your trip comfortable and schedule A/C repair before the trip.

6. Pack an Emergency Kit

No matter how prepared you are, there’s always room for the unknown. Make sure that in addition to all of your family’s belongings, you pack an emergency kit for use in unforeseen circumstances. A well-equipped emergency kit includes the following:

  • Flashlight and batteries.
  • A tool kit.
  • Jumper cables or a jump starter battery.
  • Reflective roadside triangles.
  • Paper maps (in case of GPS failure).
  • A first-aid kit.

How Can Ken Van Damme’s Automotive Help You?

If you’re planning on taking the family on a summer adventure for some fresh air after months of being cooped up at home, make sure you schedule an inspection with Ken Van Damme’s Automotive first. We can ensure that you are as safe as you can be on the road by checking all of your fluid levels, repairing your air conditioner, inspecting and repairing your brakes and transmission, and more! Our ASE-certified technicians are following all state and CDC-recommended guidelines to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Call today to schedule your car’s maintenance and stay safe on the road!

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