Tuesday, August 15, 2017

8 Things to Check on Your Car Before a Road Trip

DURAND, Mich., – Before taking a long road trip for vacation or driving up north for a holiday weekend, it's important to make sure your vehicle is up to the task! Prolonged periods of driving can put lots of stress on your vehicle's components and systems and you don't want anything to break down while you far away from home and the service centers you know and trust. So be prepared and keep your vehicle in top working condition by consulting our list of 8 things to check on your car before a road trip.

8 Things to Check on Your Car Before a Road Trip

Fluid Levels 

Most vehicle fluids have recommended mileage or time amounts needed for replacement or refilling. Engine oil and radiator, transmission, and coolant fluids are all crucial to your vehicle running properly. If you go on a long trip with prolonged periods of driving you could cause serious damage to internal components if these fluids aren't at proper levels. So before you head out of town, make sure to get your fluids topped off! Check your windshield wiper fluid as well, it's always important to keep your windows clean so you have a clear view of the road.

Tire Tread & Pressure

You can't always avoid getting a flat tire, but you can make sure your tires are fully inflated before heading out on your road trip. You can refill your tires at most gas stations or our service staff would be happy to do so for you next time you visit our Service Center. The recommended PSI level to fill your tires up to can be found in your vehicle's owner's manual, on the inside of the driver's door, or in some cases on the side of the tires themselves. To ensure your vehicle's tires can grip the road, stop, and handle properly, make sure your tire's tread isn't too worn down. You can test this by performing the famous "Penny Test" to check the tread level. If you can see the top of Abe Lincoln's head, your tires should really be replaced for your safety out on the road.

8 Things to Check on Your Car Before a Road Trip

Brake Pads

Often overlooked in terms of routine maintenance by the average driver, brakes and brake pads are extremely important and should be maintained and inspected regularly. Pay attention to any grinding or squealing sounds, reduced brake pedal responsiveness, and pulling or shaking of the steering wheel as signs that your brake pads need replacing. It's not a repair that can be put off either, as you run the risk of an accident happening or serious and costly component break down. Typically, you should have your brakes checked about every 5 months or every 5,000 miles and definitely before embarking on a long road trip.

Air Conditioning & Air Filter

Long drives in a hot car can be unbearable, so you should make sure to get your air conditioning system checked or fixed by our friendly and skilled service staff to make sure everyone on your road trip rides comfortably. Additionally, getting your air filter replaced (recommended every 35,000-45,000 miles) if it's clogged up and dusty can help improve engine performance, ideal for long periods of driving. 


Bring your vehicle into our Service Center or grab a friend to check if all of your lights, including headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are working properly. To ensure safety out on the road, make sure all your lights are illuminating and replace them if need be. Road trips often require night time driving, and the last thing you want is to have a headlight out, reducing your visibility for yourself and oncoming vehicles. Plus, you won't want to get a ticket for having a taillight out on your trip!


It's quick and simple to get your hoses checked by our service technicians before your road trip. Hot engine fluid temperatures and other stressors can wear down hoses over time, making them more susceptible to cracks and leaks. Don't get stuck on the side of the road trying to replace a hose to your engine or radiator because they sprang a leak and now can't circulate important fluids to other components!


The average vehicle battery lasts about four years, but when you should always have it checked when you're visiting our Service Center. It takes only a moment for our technicians to check how well your battery is running and if it needs to be replaced soon. Your battery, like other components on this list, can derail your trip and keep your vehicle from running if it unexpectedly dies on you. As a precaution, we recommend always keeping a set of jumper cables in your car just in case.


Your vehicle's engines and other internal components are mostly run by belts that can wear down and crack over time. If while you're on your road trip, something major like your serpentine belt breaks, you'll be stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck to come make a costly repair. It's more much cost-effective to get your belts checked and replaced if need be at your local automotive service center. You can check your engine belts yourself by turning them sideways with your hand so you can see the friction surface. Look for ragged, torn, cracked surfaces or if you can see fiber cords, which are all signs that the belt needs to be replaced. Also, if you hear loud screeches when you pull away from a stoplight, a loose belt is probably the cause. If you think your belts need to be replaced, schedule an appointment at our Graff Chevrolet Durand Service Center and we'll get them taken care of right away.

8 Things to Check on Your Car Before a Road Trip

Every component of your vehicle plays a huge part in making sure you reach your destination safe and sound on a road trip. If you bring your vehicle into our Service Center, we can inspect it to make sure it's ready to handle your adventures! Use our list of 8 things to check on your car before a road trip to maximize your fun and ensure a smooth drive! In our opinion, even the best road trips seldom go according to plan, but that doesn't mean they should be derailed by breakdowns and other automotive issues! If you need any automotive maintenance done, schedule an appointment at the Graff Chevrolet Durand Service Center.

Located at 9009 East Lansing Road in Durand, MI 48429, Hank Graff Chevrolet Durand wants to revolutionize your car buying experience. We’ll bring all the transparency and customer satisfaction you need while making the buying experience fun! If you have any questions be sure to contact us at (989) 288-2657 or head over to our website at www.GraffChevyDurand.com! We are proud to serve Durand and the surrounding communities of Owosso, Flint, Genesee Charter Township, Swartz Creek, and Corunna.

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