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Auto Repair in Mint Hill – Is My Car Ready for a Summer Road Trip?

Finally, summer is here! The older kids are back from college and the younger ones will be done in June. It’s time to start planning that family road trip, and you’ve already picked a spot, booked the hotel, and packed your bags, but there’s one thing left to do – make sure the car is ready. But what exactly should you do though to get your car ready? Here’s a few key checkpoints to look over:


  • Tires

Tires are important all the time, but especially so on a road trip. After all, they are the one thing separating you from the road. Check tread wear and make sure the tire has not worn unevenly, and check tread depth to make sure it is above 2/32″. If a tire is not “ready” it should be replaced before a road trip, especially if its a long one.

  • Fluids

This one you should take your car to the shop for because a proper fluid check looks at more than just the fluid itself. An old hose carrying coolant, for example, may be able to take the workload of your 20 minute commute fine, but could bust on a 7 hour drive, so its best to replace before that happens. A proper fluid check for road trips doesn’t just top off fluids, but checks for leaks that may be hard to see and, if needed, replaces old, worn-out lines and cracked hoses

Don’t forget, you may need to have your A/C fixed, if you’re already in for a fluid checkover, that’s the best time to do so!

  • Fuel Economy

Gas is expensive, and it adds up quick on a road trip. Don’t take the biggest vehicle you own if you don’t have to. Bigger vehicles and bigger engines consume more fuel and have worse MPG’s.

  • Safety/First-Aid Kit.

A First-Aid Kit is a great thing to have in a car at any time, but especially so during a road trip. A summer-ready kit should contain the basics such as band aids, gause and snacks, but should also have sunscreen, a portable battery pack to charge phones (some of these packs double as jumper boxes for your car, that’s always a plus) as well as a warning sign (they are triangular and orange) and some over-the-counter style scrape cleaner.

  • Have Some Repair Money Ready.

It’s unfortunate, but things break. Sometimes they break away from home. Though hopefully this never happens to you, have some money set asside for incase you have to make emergency repairs.

PROTIP: Most independent shops have a nationwide warrenty program. Go to these shops. For example, if you have your vehicle serviced at a shop with a TechNet warrenty program in Texas, and that part needs to be warranteed out back here in NC, any shop that uses that program can do the job here at home, and vice-versa.

  • Consider Your Vehicle’s Mileage.

Some cars break more than others. For example, an Ol’ Reliable 2000 Chevy Tahoe with 240,000 miles is something to be proud of, and is a great daily driver, but it’s 18 years old and is more likley to break down on the road. If the miles are high on your vehicle, it is probably best to rent something else for the trip.

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Why Test Brake Fluid?

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Why Test Brake Fluid?

Everyone knows to change their oil & antifreeze regularly, but what about your brake fluid?  Failing to change oil or antifreeze could be costly, but it will not kill you. Using old brake fluid could easily lead to your brakes failing simultaneously. It is possibly the most critical safety item in your car. Not maintaining your brake fluid could possibly put you or your loved ones in harm’s way.

When maintaining your car, be sure to have your auto repair facility check the brake fluid regularly.  Tell them if there are any changes in your brake pedal (soft, spongy, goes to the floor).  Note any vibrations, noises or pulling when you apply the brakes.

Brake fluid has to have a wide range of attributes including a high boiling point and low cost and the end result is that most brake fluid is based on Ethylene Glycol with various additives to prevent corrosion etc. Unfortunately, Ethylene Glycol is Hygroscopic(attracts and holds water molecules) and gradually absorbs moisture from the air. This slowly lowers its high boiling point until it may be only a little higher than water. This could cause loss of stopping ability under certain driving conditions.  This is brake fluid’s dirty little secret.

Exchanging the fluid in the brake system helps extend the life of the brake system parts, including the master cylinder, wheel cylinders, calipers, ABS components, and hoses. Includes removal and safe disposal of old fluid and replacement with new fluid.

Additionally, when your brake fluid in tested your technician should also inspect:

  • Brakes hoses and lines
  • Wear on the Pads and Shoes
  • Wheel bearing and seals
  • Adjust the parking brake
  • Clean, service and adjust drum brakes every 15,000 miles and disc brakes hald way through their life.

If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.