As you get ready for a summer road trip filled with fun and excitement, you need to make sure that your car is safe and ready for the road ahead. Nothing spoils a summer vacation faster than having car trouble, especially when it’s far from home. Overheating, faulty air conditioning, and tire blowouts are just a few of the things you’ll want to avoid.
So before you pack your sunscreen, dust off your flip flops, and fill that cooler with ice-cold beverages, take time to ensure that your car is prepped and ready for your summer road trip getaway. As your preferred Toyota and Scion dealership in Sarasota, Florida, we here at Germain Toyota of Sarasota would like to share the following 10 important tips on how to prepare your vehicle for your next summer road trip.
Clean the engine
When dirt, grime and grease build up on the engine block they make it run hotter than normal. We recommend having your engine professionally steam cleaned. Or, you can do it yourself at a self-service wash with a high-pressure sprayer. Just remember to cover the battery, fuse box, and other electrical components. And wait until the engine is dry before driving off.
Inspect your brake fluid and power steering fluid levels
It’s easy to check these levels thanks to clear plastic reservoirs in today’s modern vehicles, like the new 2015 Toyotas here at our Sarasota Toyota dealership. If you plan to add fluids yourself, always use a clean container to avoid contamination.
Change your oil, oil filter, and transmission fluid
Oil is your car’s lifeblood. Dirty oil can reduce performance and make your engine run hotter and less smoothly. The same can be said for your transmission. Before you hit the road this summer, have both fluids checked and/or replaced by an automotive professional, like our ASE-certified technicians here at Germain Toyota of Sarasota.
Check your hoses and belts
Heat is the enemy of rubber belts and hoses. Hoses should be firm, not soft, so check for soft spots; especially where the hose connects directly to the radiator or engine. You should also visually inspect belts for cracks and damage. If the belt looks very slick or smooth that’s a bad sign. Have our service pros at Germain Toyota of Sarasota inspect and/or replace these important parts for you before they become a summer road trip problem.
Keep your car’s interior cool
It’s a good idea to invest in a quality set of reflective sun shades to help keep your car’s interior cooler. You can also purchase side window shades to help keep the sun off your passengers.
Check your air filters
A dirty air filter can rob you of performance, affect gas mileage, and make your engine run less efficiently. Also, a dirty cabin air filter can make your AC work too hard. Our service techs here at Germain Toyota of Sarasota will be happy to inspect these and change them if necessary.
Inspect your coolant
Check your coolant level by looking at the plastic coolant reservoir. Your owner’s manual will give you the exact location. Warning! Do not ever open the radiator cap when the car is hot to avoid injury.
Have your air conditioning checked
You should have your air conditioning checked by a certified mechanic on a yearly basis. If you notice that your AC isn’t blowing as cold as it used to, you may have a leak. Adding refrigerant is only a temporary fix for this. Our Service Department here at Germain Toyota of Sarasota will be happy to inspect your AC unit for you.
Inspect your tires for wear
Look for cracks in the sidewall, gauges, or other visible clues which could cause a blowout. Also, check your tire tread depth by putting a penny in the groove. If Lincoln’s head disappears, your tread depth is okay. If not, you may need new tires. Of course, our techs here at Germain Toyota of Sarasota will be happy to inspect your tires and make recommendations.
Check your tire pressure
Tire pressure changes with the outside temperature. As the temperature gets warmer, the tire pressure increases. Be sure to check your tire pressure when your tires are cold and keep them at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Many of our new 2015 Toyotas here at Germain Toyota of Sarasota feature a tire pressure monitoring system which can automatically alert you if your tire pressure is not up to specs. And don’t forget to check the pressure in your spare, too.
The Road to Savings Starts at Germain Toyota of Sarasota
As the summer heats up, the prices are cooling down at Germain Toyota of Sarasota. Whether it’s the spacious 2015 Toyota Highlander, the ruggedly versatile 2015 Toyota 4Runner, or the award-winning new 2015 Toyota Camry, we’ve got the perfect car for your perfect summer road trip. Visit our Toyota dealership in Sarasota and take advantage of special financing offers, cool dealer discounts, and scorching manufacturer incentives that make it easy to put you behind the wheel of a new Toyota just in time for your summer road trip. We’re conveniently located at 7435 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231. For our sales department, please call 855-826-1499, or for service, call 855-826-1497.