The most important thing is to make sure that your car is in top shape!
Take some time to make sure that your vehicle is ready to take you to paradise. All it takes is a few minutes of preventative maintenance in your driveway and you can help eliminate hours of costly problems.
The following items include things that most people can do for themselves very easily just by reading the vehicle's owner's manual. If you don't have the time or lack the confidence to do these things yourself, bring it to AUTOLIKA and give the car a good going over.
Check all of your vehicle's fluid levels. This includes engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Most new cars have transparent reservoir tanks and in many cases, you don't even have to get your hands dirty. Refer to the owners' manual for the proper procedures for checking and adding fluids to your vehicle. In particular, when checking the brake fluid level. If in doubt about fluid color or odor, refer it to AUTOLIKA. You can also do a quick "leak test" in your driveway. Let your engine run for about 15 minutes so it reaches full operating temperature. Then park it over a large piece of cardboard and see if any fluids drip on it.
Belts and Hoses:
Check all the drive belts and hoses for any signs of wear and deterioration. Belts that are frayed, glazed, cracked, cut or have chunks missing should be replaced immediately. With the engine switched off and cold, look at each hose and see if there are leaks, cracks, or swelling. If they look good, give them a squeeze test. Good hoses are firm but flexible. Any hoses or belts that feel spongy, soft, or brittle should be replaced.
One of the leading causes of roadside problems is the battery. Check that the battery electrolyte is up to the proper level by removing the battery caps and looking inside. The most common battery types today are maintenance free batteries. Maintenance free batteries have sealed caps and require no checking. But some batteries say maintenance free but do have removable caps. These should be checked usually. Finally, check the battery to see that there are no cracks or holes in the battery casing itself. If the battery is three or four years old, consider replacing it.
If you hear any grinding noises or feel unusual vibrations when you apply the brakes, or if the vehicle pulls to one side, take the vehicle in for a checkup. It would be a good idea just to have your brakes looked at to be sure they won't need replacing 1,000 miles into your trip.
Heating and A/C:
Make sure your car's heating and A/C is working properly. Run it for a while in each of its operating modes and check that the airflow is coming from all appropriate vents. If the A/C system takes an inordinately long time to cool the inside of the car, or if the air never gets cold enough, the system probably needs to be checked for leaks and recharged.
Highway speed driving and hot summer days combine to put a lot of stress on an engine's cooling system. If your vehicles is using conventional coolant and hasn't been flushed for two years, now is an excellent time to do it. If it has extended life coolant go with the manufacturers recommended change intervals. If this interval occurs during the trip, do it now. The cooling system should be refilled with the correct coolant. Don't refill with just straight water. If the system needs to be flushed, visit AUTOLIKA!
Maintain correct tire pressures, not only does this make the vehicle ride correctly on the road but also improves braking and increases fuel economy. Not only a pre-trip inspection helps of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble it also prevents your car, bring it to AUTOLIKA who knows your vehicle.