This year has flown by, and before you know it, it’ll be time to start planning for holiday road trips and travel. But along with those travel plans can come some trying weather conditions. Here at Family Auto Service we want to help keep you and your family safe by making sure you have reliable auto mechanics at your service. Whether you reside or work in the La Jolla, La Mesa, Santee, or Alpine areas, Family Auto Service can take care of your auto repair and preventive maintenance needs. Keep reading to learn more about how you can keep your family’s vehicle prepped, primed, and ready to take on the holidays!
Getting ready to set out on a road trip for the holidays can be a daunting task. Between getting you and your family ready for the trip, making sure you have everything packed, and beating the traffic, you’ve got your work cut out for you. With that in mind, being sure to thoroughly inspect your vehicle well ahead of time can keep you from being caught unawares and stranded on the side of the road on your way to the festivities. In order to keep your vehicle in fine fettle, here are some things you may want to check off on your preventive maintenance list for your vehicle before you start that holiday excursion:
Getting Your Car Serviced
Driving during the holidays means that your vehicle is about to hit the road during a time where traffic is at its worst, and road conditions are potentially their most dangerous. Because of this, here are some things you should pay close attention to:
Tires: The tires on your car should be rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles, and inspected for any damage to be sure they wear evenly. No one wants to be driving bald tires on wet, slick, or icy roads with their loved ones in the backseat. Preventive maintenance like replacing too-worn tires, getting an alignment, checking tire inflation, and measuring tread depth can make a difference not only in the smoothness of your travels, but the safety as well. If you’re planning on driving in snowy or icy terrain, equip your vehicle with chains or snow tires to protect from sliding on slick motorways. You can always ask the knowledgeable auto mechanics at Family Auto Service for advice if you’re having trouble determining which you should choose.
Fluids and Coolant System: There are numerous fluids to keep track of under the hood of your car that ensure your engine keeps from seizing, and now is the time to check them. Normal preventive maintenance of your fluids should include checking the last time your oil was changed, your transmission fluid, and your brake fluid. It’s also a good idea to make sure your coolant system is in good working order. The extreme temperatures you may encounter will be forcing it to work overtime, so be sure to have the antifreeze, hoses, and radiator all checked out beforehand. Changing out and checking all your vehicle’s fluids can help prevent break-downs, but can also help to forgo costly auto repairs down the line.
Windshield Wipers: Bad windshield wipers can make driving in poor weather a miserable experience, and seriously reduced visibility when it’s most needed. Windshield wipers are only good for about a year before they should be replaced due to exposure to the elements. Examine your wipers for any cracks, chips, or missing chunks, and replace as needed. If you think you’ll experience wet weather on your trip, a bit of Rain-X on your windows and windshield can help with visibility and make your trip a little less nerve-wracking.
Have an Emergency Kit Ready
Not only do you want your vehicle to be prepped for any eventuality, you want your family to be ready as well! Stocking up a safety kit for your travels is essential, especially when traveling with your loved ones. In the event that you get stuck out on the road in poor weather waiting for a tow or safer driving conditions, you’ll want to be prepared. Some items you may want to include are:
For the Family: Flashlights, batteries, blankets, water, snacks, gloves, boots, waterproof matches, a small knife, and a first aid kit
For the Vehicle: Jumper cables, sand/kitty litter (for getting some traction), flares, an ice scraper, rope, and a small shovel
Entertainment to Tame the Boredom
It may seem silly to prioritize keeping passengers occupied while on the road, but it can be an integral part of your travel preparations. Along with keeping fidgety kids (and adults) from driving each other crazy in the close confines of your vehicle, it can help keep the driver from getting distracted while driving in poor conditions. Stocking up on your family’s favorite games, books, music, shows, or videos, can make all the difference in keeping your passengers happy and preoccupied so you can focus on driving.
Researching Your Route:
Knowing what your route has in store for you on the way to your destination will put your mind at ease when navigating unfamiliar roadways. Make a point to map out your route ahead of time, and plan out stops along the way. You can utilize navigation maps on either your phone or GPS device for easy rerouting and arrival time estimates, or go the old-fashioned route and grab your trusty map or atlas. Keep in mind that electronics can sometimes fail, so having a backup map or set of directions is good practice. Check the weather along your route before your trip, but also regularly check in on your mobile device or tune in to the radio along the way stay abreast of any new updates. By doing this, you can be sure to plan for changes in the weather as soon as possible.
If you find that your family vehicle is in need of auto repairs or preventive maintenance before you set out for your holiday travels, schedule an appointment today with Family Auto Service. With four locations throughout the San Diego area in La Jolla, La Mesa, Santee, and Alpine, Family Auto Service’s auto mechanics are available to keep your vehicle in prime condition to get your family wherever the season takes you. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. If you require shuttle service while we perform your brake repair, please let us know so we can drop you off where you need to go. In addition, our 3-year/36,000-mile nationwide warranty will assist you any time you are driving around San Diego, California, or out of state.