There are times when you want to bring your car with you for summer vacation. That gives you mobility while you are away and the comfort of driving a vehicle you know. You can have it shipped before you board the plane to the destination.
Miami, Los Angeles, and Ocean City are some of the most popular summer vacation destinations. To fully enjoy these places, you may want your trusty vehicle with you. Easy Auto Ship reviews note that you can ship your car in these cities since they cater to all 50 states.
If you are taking a trip like this, you want to prepare your car as best as you can first. Here are the important steps to take before shipping your car for your summer vacation.
Check Engine Oil
A car engine is composed of a variety of parts. They all work together to move the entire vehicle. But all that movement can cause damage to the engine. Oil is used to lubricate the moving parts to keep them running smoothly. Running your car on low engine oil can cause significant problems.
Fortunately, checking engine oil levels in modern and old cars is simple.
- Pop open the hood and locate the dipstick. You can refer to your car owner’s manual if you cannot find it.
- Wipe the dipstick with a clean towel and place it back inside.
- Pull it out again; it should have an oil mark at the end. Use the indicators to see if you have sufficient oil.
If the level is low, you can top up by pouring in a quarter pint of oil. Use a funnel to do this efficiently.
Check Under the Hood
Since you have the hood open already, check the other parts of the engine. Look at the serpentine belt if it shows cracks and tears. If so, you can have this replaced.
Check the battery terminals for signs of corrosion or leaks. That is a clear indication that something is wrong.
If you see something out of place, you can refer to your manual or consult with a mechanic.
Check Your Coolant
Cars have a cooling system regulated by a coolant or antifreeze. Its purpose is to absorb the heat and keep the engine within safe operating temperatures. If you lack enough coolant, the engine is prone to overheating. Neglecting this can blow a gasket, which can eventually ruin the entire engine.
That is something you do not want to happen.
Cars have a warning light on your dashboard to preempt overheating engines. You do not have to wait for this to happen to do something. Regularly check coolant levels by opening the hood and looking at the reservoir.
You do not have to open the cap to check the level. It is usually transparent with a line to gauge how much coolant is left. If the liquid is no longer full, you can refill it with a 50/50 mix of water and coolant. Some come out of the bottle premixed so you should check it first.
Check Your Tires
One of the most important parts of your car is your tires. They are the ones connecting the vehicle to the road. There are several things you need to check with them.
- Keep each tire at the correct pressure. You can do this at any gas station or even at home if you have an air pump.
- Rotate your tires to balance the wear on them. Refer to your car manual for proper rotation procedures.
- Check the tread wear of your tires. The US penny method is the easiest here.
Keeping your tires healthy is very important when traveling to new places. A flat is the most common car problem. Reduce the risk of it happening by simply ensuring that they are taken care of.
Do not forget to do the same maintenance procedures on the spare tire, too. The last thing you want is to fix a flat only to find that your spare is also damaged.
Going on a vacation is exciting. You can explore new places, try different food, and enjoy the sun. However, the mood can quickly turn to despair if you are not careful. Make sure to check the parts of your car before taking it on your vacation.
Consider taking it to your mechanic before the big trip for a complete checkup. That can address most maintenance issues to ensure that the car is safe for shipping and travel.