Winter travels are close ahead and it's important to check a few items before heading out of town to see family.
The most important items are as follows:
1. Check and set tire pressure.
Cooler months cause the air pressure in your tires to decrease. Be sure to set tire pressure - most vehicles should be set between 34-42psi. Set the tire pressure higher for long distance traveling as you will get slightly better gas mileage.
2. Check oil and coolant level.
These are basic and most vehicles will tell you when these are low. However, a quick check around the coolant tank and radiator for white crystallization (dried coolant) and verifying oil level add a sense of security to your drive. Our oil is rated for 10,000 miles, but most automotive shops service vehicles every 3,000 - 5,000 miles. Always keep track of where you are for your service interval. It may be a great time to get that oil & filter service completed if you are close to the end of the service interval.
3. In addition to decreasing tire pressure, cooler months cause random battery failures and performance issues, particularly with vehicles that sleep in the Sunshine State most of their lives.
Be sure to allow your vehicle a few extra minutes to warm up in the morning before leaving, especially with family in colder regions. This will provide a healthy warm up to the engine and its systems.
Always do this a week or two before your upcoming trip to allow adequate time for repairs on your vehicle if needed. Additionally, many service shops provide "Trip Checks" at little charge, that cover most safety items.
Safe travels. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!