Summer Road Trip Car Care Tips

Maintaining your car for a summary road tripSummer is a great time to hit the road with your family or friends and take a much-needed vacation. Whether you’re taking a cross-country family trip to Walley World or a day trip with friends to enjoy the weather, there are a few things you should do to prepare your vehicle for the journey.

There are plenty of things you can check yourself, but a quick trip to your local mechanic can also get the job done. The hot weather can be difficult on your vehicle and presents a different set of challenges than snow and winter storms.

The following tips can help reduce your chances of any breakdowns or car troubles so you can enjoy your road trip safely.

Oil

Oil is the lifeblood of your car’s engine and should be treated as such. It’s pretty easy to check your vehicle’s oil level to make sure it has enough to perform well. If you’re getting close to needing an oil change you should have that done before your road trip. Don’t forget to add the miles you’ll be traveling to your current odometer reading and see if you’re due for an oil change. Synthetic oil such as Mobil1, Valvoline Max Life, or Castrol Edge is recommended for optimal performance.

Tires

Your vehicle’s tires are constantly in contact with the road which means they need to be in tip-top shape. Check the tread and air pressure for all four tires to make sure they are properly inflated and road ready. If need be, have your tires rotated or replaced before hitting the road.

Battery and Hoses

If your battery dies you’ll surely be stuck, so be sure it has clean terminals and isn’t too old. You can clean your battery’s terminals by using water mixed with a little baking soda. If you’re due for a new battery, don’t put it off. You should also check to be sure that all the vehicle’s hoses and belts are tightly secured.

Fluids

There are a number of fluids that are crucial to the performance of your vehicle. Be sure to check them all and top them off if necessary.

  • Transmission fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Antifreeze/coolant
  • Radiator coolant
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Power steering fluid

Other Important Tips

  • Be sure to have your brakes checked out
  • Test your headlights, high beams, turn signals, and interior lighting
  • Check that windshield wipers are working properly

Preparing Your Vehicle for a Road Trip in Michigan

Fast Eddie’s Wash & Lube is the place to go if you need an oil change or other preventative maintenance service. We have multiple locations to serve you in the Lansing and thumb region of Michigan. Give us a call today at 800-882-0051 to learn more.


Why Are There So Many Types of Motor Oil and Which One Should I Use?

Oil change Michigan Motor oil is often described as the “lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine”, but you may be surprised to learn that it was originally studied for its medicinal value. John Ellis studied the healing powers of crude oil, only to learn that it had more potential for its lubricating properties. He founded the Continuous Oil Refining Company in 1866, which later became known as Valvoline.

Some 150 years later, many drivers take motor oil for granted. In fact, many of us probably don’t understand the differences among all the oil types available. The good news is that unless you’re changing your own oil, you only need to know some basics.

What do all those numbers mean?

You’ve likely seen those numbers and letters on motor oil but may not know what they mean. First, the W stands for winter, although many think it means weight. The number before the W is the oil’s viscosity. Viscosity is defined as a fluid’s resistance to flow, rated at 0°F. The lower the number, the less the oil thickens in the cold. The number after the W refers to the oil’s viscosity at 212°F.

What do all those words mean?

  • Conventional Oil – Typically more affordable, conventional oil is preferred for vehicles with low mileage or for owners who are careful about having their oil changed regularly.
  • Premium Conventional Oil – The standard new-car oil, premium conventional is a step up from traditional conventional oil.
  • Full Synthetic Oil – Made for high-tech engines, full synthetic oil must pass stringent testing and offers longer, superior performance.
  • Synthetic-Blend Oil – This oil type is made up of mostly premium conventional oil with a dose of synthetic added in.
  • High-Mileage Oil – This blend features extra conditioners and is made for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles.

If you plan on changing your vehicle’s oil yourself, be sure to read your owner’s manual to find out which type to purchase. If you prefer to leave it to the professionals, you can always count on Fast Eddie’s for quick, affordable, and trustworthy service. We offer three oil change packages, and our Best Service includes a Super Duper Wash. Give us a call today at 800-882-0501 to learn more.


How Often Should I Have My Car Washed?

Car wash MichiganAfter your home, your vehicle is likely your most expensive possession. We know that vehicles need to undergo routine maintenance, but did you realize that having your car washed should be included on that list?

In addition to keeping your vehicle looking good, there are some more practical benefits of having your car washed often. Over time, contaminants can build up which can damage the paint or undercarriage. They can also find their way under the hood and cause serious damage.

Here are just some of the culprits that make your car dirty:

  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Salt
  • Tree Leaves and Sap
  • Insects

Many drivers enjoy getting their car washed regularly, while others put it off until it’s so dirty that they can’t stand it anymore. Many experts recommend having your car washed once a week, while others prefer twice a month. How often you should wash your car depends on a variety of factors including:

Location – Where you live plays a big part in how dirty your vehicle gets. If you live or work near a construction area your car will likely be dusty. The amount of trees, insects, and even pigeons in the area also plays a part.

Amount of Driving – Obviously the more you drive your vehicle the dirtier it will get. If you have a long commute to work or school, you’ll collect more dirt and dust than the occasional driver would.

Weather – We all know how dirty a storm can leave our vehicle. If you live in an area with lots of rain and snow your car will get dirty more often. Other conditions such as heavy winds also play a factor.

Parking – If you are lucky enough to have covered parking at home and at work, your car might not need to be washed as often. If you park outside, try to stay away from trees if possible.

Fast Eddie’s is proud to offer an unlimited car wash program. You can sign up for one year, six months, or even a monthly option. This allows you to get your car washed as often as you want, without having to worry about paying for it each time. With 16 Michigan locations, you’ll be able to get in and out fast with that brand new car shine.


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