Spring Break is a great time for a road trip! While they are a great way to see the country and explore, road trips can mean unexpected surprises, varying road conditions, and lots of miles on your car in a short amount of time. Whether you are planning a quick weekend trip or a cross-country drive, it is important to make sure your car is up to the task BEFORE you hit the road. Here are a few things you should check before you embark:
Start with a test drive. Feel for any vibrations or tracking issues as you drive – this could be a sign that you need your wheels balanced, tires rotated, or an alignment. Check that your tires have enough tread. Low tread makes tires more prone to flats – an untimely flat could mean driving many miles on a spare until you get to the next town.
Make sure to check your fluids before the journey and replace as needed. Check for any that are low – low levels are usually a sign of a leak. Ignoring a leak could result in contaminants getting into the system, setting you up for costly repairs down the road. If your car is due for an oil change or will be while you are on the road, have it done before you leave. You may also need to replace dirty air filters – though this might seem less important, clean filters will mean better fuel economy, which makes an even bigger difference on long trips!
Be sure that your brakes and transmission have been inspected in the last 6 months. A mid-drive issue with these vital components could mean being stranded by the side of the road and searching for an auto repair shop in an unfamiliar area. To avoid this headache, make sure the brakes and transmission are checked before the trip. A quick inspection can insure there are no problems or concerns.
Another easy thing to check before you leave is the wiper blades and washer fluid. Especially when your trip involves many hours on the interstate, you’ll want to be able to wash away the dead bugs your windshield collects on the road.
Review your maintenance schedule before you leave to make sure your car is up-to-date with its preventative care. If you will be due for a routine service while you are away, have it done before you leave.
Road trips are a fun option for spring break – make sure your car is equipped to handle all the conditions on the roads. Stop by our shop or call 770-495-7881 to schedule your pre-trip inspection!
Turn Spring Cleaning into an Act of Charity – Donate!
As the weather is getting warmer and spring is around the corner, Cabin Fever gives way to Spring Cleaning! If your family is like mine, piles of clothing, toys, and household goods clutter the home by the end of winter. As you’re sorting through the clutter, turn your ritual spring cleaning into an act of good by donating your extra belongings!
In the pantry, look for nonperishable food items that you could do without. If the canned corn is starting to collect dust in your cupboard, consider if a family in need might benefit from it more than yours. Look for canned fruit and vegetables, baby food, rice, powdered milk, coffee, peanut butter – as long as the food has not expired and is nonperishable, start a collection to take to a local food drive, or check out Feeding America to find one.
In your closet, identify those garments that you rarely wear – the hand-knit sweater that doesn’t quite fit, the jeans that are a little too snug, or the hooded sweatshirt that’s been shoved to the back of the drawer. Take these seldom worn items and donate to those in need. Offer your garments to your favorite thrift store or charity.
Around the house, look for items long forgotten and collecting dust, and consider whether you really need to keep them. Books you’ve read can be donated to libraries and organizations. Childhood toys, extra kitchen ware, bikes, small electronics, and personal care items – give these items a second life by donating to those who need it more. Use Donation Town to find the right charity near you and schedule a pick-up.
Get a head start with your spring cleaning, free some space in your home, and help a family in need by donating this year!