There’s plenty of stuff to do after a long road trip — piles of dirty laundry, lots of catching up on sleep, and don’t forget about the groceries! But, don’t get so caught up trying to settle back into your routine that you neglect the trusty ride that you use for commuting and cross-country travel. If you’re starting a list covering “what to do after a long road trip,” make sure to squeeze these car maintenance essentials in there!
Post-Road Trip Car Maintenance
1. Check your tire pressure.
If you didn’t check tire pressure over the course of your road trip, do so when you roll back into your driveway. Air temperature, mileage, and speed can all cause fluctuations in tire pressure. In turn, underinflated tires can increase your car’s gas consumption, cause tread separation, and even raise your risk of experiencing blowouts. On the flipside, overinflated tires may result in uneven tread wear, compromise your car’s safety features (such as ABS), and also increase your risk of blowouts. Checking (and inflating) your tire pressure to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations is one of the best ways to improve your tires' integrity and your ride’s safety.
2. Inspect your tire tread wear.
While you’re ensuring your tire pressure is up to manufacturer recommendations, go ahead and check your tires’ tread depth, too! Generally, your tire treads need to be at least 3/32 inch deep to pass most state inspection requirements. However, this minimum may be higher depending on your state’s laws, road conditions, and type of tires. Additionally, you’ll want deeper treads to maximize traction in muddy, snowy, and slippery terrain. To check your tires’ tread depth, follow these simple instructions to perform a penny test — it takes less than five minutes and won’t cost you a cent!
3. Get your brakes tested.
Brakes are essential to your safety on the road! In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that bad brakes are a factor in 22% of vehicle part-related crashes. Long-distance driving, along with corrosion, road debris, and aging, can all cause wear on your braking system’s components, putting you, your passengers, and other motorists at risk! Help your brakes keep you safe by getting them checked every time you get an oil change, as well as before and after road-tripping. Stop by your local Tires Plus for a free brake inspection today.
4. Come in for a fluid check.
Your car’s been doing some seriously heavy lifting lately — keeping you and the fam cozy during your road trip, getting you from point A to point B, and even enduring the bickering siblings in the backseat! The additional use of your car’s features during long-distance drives can deplete its essential fluids, like coolant, motor oil, and windshield wiper fluid.
Visit your local Tires Plus, and our expert technicians will check your fluid levels — it’s part of the complimentary inspection you get with every oil change!
5. Get an oil change.
Should you change your oil after a road trip? Definitely, maybe! Motor oil is one of your car’s most important fluids. It lubricates and cleans your engine’s moving parts, helping them last longer and perform optimally.
Depending on your car’s manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule, the extra mileage from your road trip may shorten the time between your typical oil change intervals. Don’t delay until next month, though — skipping an oil change could cause your engine to overheat, making it less efficient, warping its moving parts, and eventually leading to complete engine failure.
As NASA’s Gene Kranz said, “Failure is not an option!” Plan for success with a conventional or synthetic oil change at Tires Plus. You’ll get a new oil filter, fresh motor oil, and a free 19-point inspection — during which our technicians will visually check everything from your wiper blades to your battery charge.
We Recommend, You Decide!
Whether you’re recovering from a long distance move or coming home after a cross-country road trip, the technicians at Tires Plus have your back and your engine. Come to your neighborhood Tires Plus for a comprehensive post-road trip vehicle inspection. We’ll inspect your vehicle and give you recommendations so you can make decisions with no sales pressure. At Tires Plus, we’re service people, not salespeople.