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Even if you didn’t get your vehicle from one of your local South Florida Honda Dealers, we’re here to help if you are looking at taking your family on a road trip for summer. Consider the following if you want a problem-free vacation.

Check the Fluids

If you want your car to run easily, regularly quench its thirst for critical fluids. The most important is oil, which needs a change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Those numbers and all the others mentioned here are just general guidelines for all cars. Check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations.

If it’s not yet time for an oil change, look at the dipstick to make sure that you don’t have to add oil. Ensure you have enough coolant or antifreeze in the radiator, and top it off as needed. Your engine has to stay cool, particularly during the hot days of summer. You should also check the fluids for the transmission, power steering, and brakes. Finally, fill up your windshield fluid tank so you can clean your windshield throughout the trip.

Check the Tires

Worn-out tires can have your vehicle skidding on the road, especially when you want to stop. They need changing every 25,000 to 50,000 miles. If you don’t know when your tires were replaced last, put a penny on a tire tread but face the top of Lincoln’s head downward. If you still see the top of his head, it’s time to get new tires. Even if your tires are in good shape, mechanics should rotate them every 5,000 to 8,000 miles because each one wears out at different rates. They can also correct any misalignments, such as after you hit a pothole.

Check your vehicle’s tire pressure regularly at least once a month, but wait until you’ve parked for three hours for an accurate reading. Low pressure uses up more fuel and can blow out your wheels. You’ll find the correct pressure number in your owner’s manual. Even when the vehicle has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, it only issues a warning if the pressure is 25 percent below the recommended pressure, so check the pressure manually before the trip.

Don’t forget to do all these inspections for your spare tire too.

Take Care of Other Parts

Other parts of your vehicle have also got to work well if you want a stress-free road trip. Change the air filters every 12,000 miles. They’re inexpensive and easy to switch. If they looked even a bit clogged, you can change them yourself. Brake pads also need to be inspected and replaced at your dealer, especially if they are spongy and noisy, every 25,000 to 70,000 miles. Look at all your external lights, including the turn signals, to make sure they are illuminating correctly. A burned out bulb not only makes your car less visible but can get you pulled over.

Get Fresh

Nothing makes a vehicle feel fresher than a good wash. Vacuum inside the cab, scrub away any stains and steam-clean the upholstery. An air freshener makes the cabin smell more delightful. Prepare an activity basket to keep the kids entertained. Fill it with their favorite toys and some games that they can play while you’re on the highway. Don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks to keep the hunger away.

When you’re ready to prep your vehicle for your long trip, give one of the South Florida Honda Dealers a call. We cover all of Palm Beach County, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Jupiter. No matter where your starting point is, make sure to see your helpful Honda folks before hitting the road.