Checking tire tread.

Are you going on vacation?

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Are you going on vacation this year?

Here are a few maintenance checks you should make before heading down the highway.

Vacation preparation checklist

Tire tread

Prior to your trip, you want to make sure that the tire tread is thick enough. The tires are the only things that contact the road, which has everything to do with how well you go and stop. If it’s too low, it could cause issues with stopping, and you might skid across the road when it rains.

Tire tread must be at or above 2/32 of an inch. We start recommending new tires when it hits 4/32 of an inch. After that, you start to lose your wet traction.

Tire pressure

Tire pressure that’s too low could cause damage to the overall tire. If you continue to drive on a tire that’s too low, you can damage the inside of the tire — and then a perfectly good tire has to be replaced. It can impact your fuel economy, as well.

A lot of cars today have a tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS). You may also notice symptoms when your tire pressure is low, such as sidewalls that are wider at the bottom.

You can learn about how to check your tire pressure by reading this article we wrote.

Windshield wiper blades

Windshield wiper blades are a wearable component and, as they wear down, they won’t clear as well as they should. If a windshield wiper is torn, it’s not clearing at all. 

If that blade comes off, you could scrape your windshield. Most of the time, people don’t check windshield wiper blades before they’re on the road.

It’s important to make sure that your windshield wipers are up to date, especially if you hit any rain on your drive.

Windshield washer fluid

Windshield washer fluid is going to help you clear your windshield if it’s dirty. Make sure the fluid isn’t low in the weeks leading up to your next adventure.

Fortunately, if you keep a bottle of it in your vehicle, adding windshield washer fluid is the simplest task to do.

Oil level

It’s important to make sure that your oil level isn’t too low. With the newer types of engines, the oil pressure has a lot to do with engine performance. 

Running on too little oil can prevent it from getting to parts. If it’s too low, you can also experience lower fuel economy, rough running and other engine problems. 

Watch for warning lights and, if they come on, stop your engine immediately to prevent further engine damage.

Antifreeze level

The antifreeze is what circulates through the radiator and the engine, keeping it cool. It can prevent your engine from overheating.

Before hitting the road, it’s a good idea to check the antifreeze level and confirm there aren’t any leaks.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.