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Summer Driving Tips

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Raleigh Brakes Mechanic

Don’t Over-pack

Hot temperatures + long road trips = potential disaster.
Ok, so Summer’s here and you’re ITCHING to fill up your jalopy to the headliner with ‘stuff’ and hit the open highway. Great!
The combination of heat, long trips and heavy loads can place enormous demands on your vehicle.  So, before you pull out of the driveway, we’d like to suggest that you make sure ‘Old Faithful’ is ready for a long, hot trip.  So, here are a few tips on Summer driving:

  • Radiator – They usually last between 100,000 to 150,000 miles.  Most radiators have plastic tanks and that’s what we see fail for our radiator repair customer.  When the tanks crack, they leak coolant.  Not good after you’ve been driving for hours – away from home, in the heat and, sometimes, after 5:00 pm.
  • Belts and Hoses – Car manufacturers generally don’t recommend a specific time or mileage interval for replacing hoses in their car maintenance schedules.  You can expect belts to last around 40,000 to 50,000 miles before showing substantial signs of wear.
  • Towing – When towing a boat, camper, or trailer of any kind, the first thing to consider is stopping what’s going to be pushing you.  A good rule of thumb is if the weight in-tow is over 1,500 pounds, then you need trailer brakes.  These can be electric or surge brakes.  When you have a trailer with brakes, make sure you inspect the brakes before you begin towing to ensure they can operate freely and are not rusted or frozen.
  • Transmission – Your vehicle is designed to hold it’s rated number of passengers and, perhaps, a ‘little’ cargo.  When you drive with all your vacation belongings and even tow a camper or trailer, your transmission may need special attention.  Make sure your fluid is in excellent condition.  Also, depending on how you tow, you may need an auxiliary (secondary) transmission fluid cooler.  Under heavy load, your transmission fluid temperature will rise and can damage your transmission over time.
We find that many people are unfamiliar with how to check these items.  It’ll be worth a quick visit to our shop and have us prevent any long distance breakdowns.  Call us or schedule an appointment online today for a quick inspection.  If anything, it’ll give you peace of mind when travelling.