When You Get Back: Smart Maintenance After A Road Trip

woman leaning on her car

A car’s main purpose is travel and summer road trips are the epitome of this. While it is fun, long journeys can cause problems for your car. If you want to ensure that it stays in good shape, you’ll have to do some routine maintenance on it when you come back. Here’s a brief look at what you should focus on when you arrive at home.

Clean Everything

The first thing you should do when you get home is to clean the car from the inside and out. It is best if you take it to an expert detailing shop so that the cleaning can be as thorough as possible while also ensuring that your car looks good. A thorough cleaning is necessary because your car has been through a lot. You want it to be presentable when you drive it around town. Besides that, various things may have ended up on the surface of the car. Everything from dead bugs to bird droppings may be on your car. Leaving them on the paint can result in damage to the car. For example, bird droppings are acidic so that they can leech into the paint.

Check the Tires

The part of the car that has received the most damage during the road trip is your tires. If it was a long journey, your tire is likely worn down a lot. You’ll want to check on the condition of your tires and decide on what you’ll want to do with them.

Your main worry is the wear in the treads. If they are worn down too much, then your car won’t have any traction. The extravagant response is to replace the tires with new ones completely. If you can afford it, then it is a good choice. For those who don’t have an unlimited budget, there is a cheaper option. This is rotating the tires from various positions. Moving a tire to a new place in your car changes what parts receive wear and tear, this can ensure that everything is even and gives you more time until the actual tire replacement.

Change The Oil And Filters

The long journey also likely did a number on the various parts of your engine. One part you have to take a look at is the filters. Driving around all day and through various conditions means that it likely ended up with a lot of dirt. Clogged filters can affect the performance of your engine. Replace them immediately, and you’ll see a big jump in how smooth your engine is.

The other thing you have to worry about is your oil. The oil in your engine lubricates it and makes it move better. Constant use of the engine exposes the oil to the environment and may not be as effective as it once was. The best way to handle it is by doing a complete oil change. It is a simple process, and you can do it yourself.

man fixing a car

Do A Diagnostic On The Essentials

Every car from a major manufacturer since 1996 has had an onboard diagnostic scanner. If your car is from a popular brand, you have an easy way to check on your car’s condition. You’ll need to buy an OBD-II Diagnostic Scanner to get the job done. Find the port for the scanner. You will usually find it somewhere near the steering wheel. You’ll need to do this when the car is off. Once plugged in, the diagnostic scanner will do its work and check everything. The scanner will then give you specific error codes. Some scanners make it easy and can send the codes to another device. You then check for the code to figure out whether there is anything wrong with your car.

Take It To The Mechanic

The final step to proper maintenance is taking it to the mechanic for a check and a tune-up. If you did the diagnostic scan, you have a good starting point on what repairs need to be done. If you didn’t do the scan, then your mechanic will be doing some inspecting. Be ready to leave your car with them for a few days to ensure that everything is in great condition.

Car maintenance is important if you expect to be using your vehicle again. Not taking care of your car after such a major trip can result in problems in the future. Owning a car is a major responsibility, and you should be doing your best to keep it in good condition for more years to come. It will also become useful the next year when you want to go on another road trip.

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