With summer officially in full swing, it's time to break out the swimsuits, barbecue grills, and...your mechanic's phone number?
Most people today have memories of long summer road trips watching the scenery change with your siblings screaming at each other or if you're an only child then getting along with your stuffed animals and imaginary friends. The important part of all of that is the trip itself but more importantly the vehicle. It's always good to make sure your vehicle is ready and set for the road before you leave the comfort of your home on that family or solo vacation.
In an interview with KFYO News, David Hix, manager at Midas (5115 S Loop 289, Lubbock, Texas), made sure to give us some easy things to check up on so that your summer trips go smoothly.
Hix said to have your coolant flushed. What does that mean exactly? It means to make sure that your coolant (or antifreeze) are completely flushed out of the vehicle and replaced with new, fresh liquid. It's usually that blue liquid that you see in the car aisle. Hix told us it's necessary to have a flush so that the engine can keep running cool and it can handle extreme temperatures like this West Texas heat.
There's little to no difference when changing out coolant during the summer and winter, only the temperatures. Flushing is for extreme cold temperatures -- such as when it's so cold that the power grids fail and all you can dream about are the sunny beaches of Cancun -- is also important.
Along with getting that fresh coolant/antifreeze in your vehicle, make sure to get your A/C checked if you are going on a long road trip. What's the point of getting that fresh new coolant if the A/C doesn't work, right? I'm kicking myself because my A/C doesn't work even after installing a new A/C compressor. I sound like a car guy.
Midas and other car shops in Lubbock offer free A/C checks if you're ever doubtful about that air conditioner and don't want to drive all around Lubbock with your windows rolled down like I do. Every. Day. Even in the rain and snow.
Hix also told me it's good to check your tires and brakes. This is a given. One of my greatest fears is that it will one day be so hot in Texas that my tires will melt, so I always check them to make sure they have good traction.
Also checking the brakes so any sudden stops due to a giant rock rolling down a cliff or if your kid gets motion sickness and you have to abruptly stop to let them puke (yuck!) can be done fast and safely. My cousin gets motion sickness in the Guadalupe Mountains, so trust me it helps to check the brakes and tires. And don't forget to make sure your spare tire is full of air and doesn't have any holes in it just in case Mother Nature decides it's not your summer.