• Tire Pressure.
Check the tire pressure and look for worn-down tread. Place a penny in the tread and if you can see the top of Lincoln's head, the tread is likely too low. Also check to make sure your tires-including the spare-are properly inflated and have been recently rotated. Look for the recommended tire pressure on the placard on your vehicle's door.
• Windshield Wipers.
Check the windshield wipers. If they're worn, change them.
Take a walk around the car with the lights on. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.
Check the oil and oil filter and change them if necessary.
• Air Filter.
Check and replace the air filter and cabin filter if your car is equipped with one.
• Emergency Kit.
Pack an emergency kit with items that can help you in case you're stranded. A recently released survey found drivers often overlook this important step. In fact, only one in four carries flares or food and water. These safety items can help keep a bad situation from getting worse.
• Test Your Battery.
If your battery is 4 years old or older, you are living on borrowed time. Bring it in to a trusted automotive service and retail provider such as Pep Boys for a battery starting and charging diagnostic test. In case of a battery emergency, you can also carry a portable battery jump start in your trunk along with jumper cables. This way you can jump start your car even if no one else is around.
Some activities may require professional assistance. Here are a few service tips to keep in mind.
• A/C System.
A well-functioning air conditioning system is important during hot weather. Have your system checked periodically and maintained regularly.
Do the brakes squeak or does the brake pedal feel "soft"? Have your brakes inspected, including all brake linings, hardware and hydraulics, if the last inspection occurred more than 24,000 miles or 12 months ago. The hydraulic system should be assessed for leaks and proper operation. "Sponginess" or "drop" in the brake pedal, a tendency for the car to pull to one side when braking, squealing noises coming from the brakes or a drop in the master cylinder's fluid level can all signify problems.
If you'll be hauling a trailer, boat or the like, you may want to check and change the transmission fluid.
You can get more tips and facts from those three car care experts, Manny, Moe & Jack, also known as "The Pep Boys." Find them online at www.pepboys.com or by calling (800) 737-2697. The Company's hundreds of locations even offer a number of services at no charge, such as free tire and air pressure checks.