Before you pack the car for your summer road trip, Mr. Transmission and Milex Complete Auto Care have some tips to help improve your car’s gas mileage, boost efficiency, and ensure a comfortable ride.
Half of Americans are slated to take a trip this summer, according to an online survey of nearly 2,600 adults by The Points Guy and Healthline Media. Of those likely to take a vacation this summer, 49 percent said they are interested in taking a road trip. Last summer, the American Automobile Association forecast that Americans would take 700 million trips as states slowly reopened following closures during the pandemic. As more people are vaccinated and COVID-19 numbers reach record lows, it is likely even more Americans will hit the open road this summer.
Clean Your Car
If you’ve been on a road trip with your family, you already know trash and crumbs will accumulate as the days pass. Car interiors have 17,000 times more bacteria than most people’s homes, according to industry experts. Start your road trip with a spotless vehicle to make driving more pleasant. The cost of getting your car detailed on a regular basis can add up. Here are a few steps to follow to clean the interior of your vehicle with products you likely already have on hand.
Clear the Decks. If you occasionally forget to take in your travel mug or let books and papers accumulate in your vehicle, the first step to your cleaning job will be clearing out the car. Return anything that doesn’t belong in your car to its proper spot and trash the garbage.
Vacuum. Even if you don’t drop crumbs when you snack in your car and regularly clear out old coffee cups and water bottles, your shoes will still track dirt into your car, and it will accumulate over time. After you’ve cleared the decks, haul out the hand vacuum and carefully vacuum the interior of the car.
Windshield. While your windshield’s exterior gets cleaned when you hit the car wash, dust can build up on the inside. Outside air pollution can leave a residue on your windshield that can impair visibility. Use a glass cleaner and newspaper to prevent streaks.
Hard Surfaces. The hard surfaces of your vehicle, such as the dashboard and cup holder, need to be wiped down to get rid of dust and debris. You can safely clean these surfaces using a damp cloth and a multi-surface cleaner that contains at least 70 percent alcohol. It might help to use a toothbrush to clean those hard-to-reach areas.
Do a Maintenance Check
After the interior of your vehicle is in tip-top shape, it’s time to tackle some maintenance issues to get your car ready to hit the road.
Top Off Fluids. The National Highway Safety Administration recommends making sure your vehicle has the right amount of coolant to operate during hot months. In addition to getting an oil change, check the brake, transmission, power steering, and windshield washer fluids to make sure they are full. If you see any indication of a leak, head to a mechanic to get it fixed.
Windshield Wipers. In addition to topping off your windshield wiper fluid, it’s important to change your windshield wipers on a regular basis. Install a new pair to keep them operating at peak performance during summer rainstorms.
Replace Air Filters. Over time the engine air filter on your car can become clogged with dust and debris. Replace it with a fresh one before your trip to ensure your car accelerates properly on your drive. Make sure your cabin air filter is clear of debris to filter air pollution and keep your car smelling fresh.
Check Battery Life. Your vehicle’s battery slowly deteriorates over time. The average car battery can last anywhere from three to five years, according to AAA. A mechanic can test the life of your battery to make sure it retains its charge during your trip.
Inspect Tires. Tire pressure can impact gas mileage. Use a tire pressure gauge to make sure your tires are properly inflated before you leave. Don’t forget to check the tire pressure on your spare tire.
Pack a Safety Kit
Any time you head out for a car trip, it’s a good idea to have a safety kit on hand in case an emergency crops up. In addition to jumper cables, a jack, and a tire pressure gauge, it’s a good idea to have a flashlight, first aid kit, bottles of water, some non-perishable snacks, and extra windshield wiper fluid.
Mr. Transmission and Milex Complete Auto Care can help get your car ready for your summer road trip. Click here to find a Milex Complete Auto Care or a Mr. Transmission to find a location near you.