Five Ways to Prepare for a Road Trip

Five Ways to Prepare For a Road Trip.
1. Clean your car before and during your trip.
Go ahead, leave the napkins and gum wrappers under your seat. Don't sweat the dog hair in the back bed ... but you'll be sorry. A few days into your trip, when the old gum wrappers are joined by new fast food wrappers when dog hair starts sticking to your luggage and your gear, you'll rue the day you failed to Stop by Koons Automotive to get your car detailed before your trip!
2. Check your vehicle.
About a week before you leave for a long road trip, have Koons Automotive check your car's fluid levels, brakes, tires and anything else that could cause problems. Be sure your spare tire is fully inflated and that you have jumper cables and extra wiper fluid on hand.
3. Have a loose plan.
Delays are the one thing that you can count on when driving significant distances. If you overschedule your road trip, know that things aren't always going to go your way.
4. Get off the highways
Unless you have a specific destination and a strict schedule, there is little point in hitting the roads to see the country if you don't spend some time on the back roads.
5. Have your documents
If you are traveling without current documentation of license, registration or insurance, you could be in for a world of hurt if you are pulled over for any reason. Stop by Koons Automotive and our on-site insurance reps from Next Level Insurance can make sure you are covered for anything that might occur.

April is National Car Care Month

Each spring vehicle maintenance is a trending topic across the country because April is National Car Care Month. Automotive technology has advanced at warp speed in recent years. But no matter how complex our cars have become, they still need regular service to keep them running safely and efficiently and at full power. That means carefully maintaining motor oil and other fluids, items such as hoses and filters and tires. These are some basic assessments you can make that are universal to just about every car, and that could help you prevent costly and time-consuming repairs down the road. As a suggestion, your regular oil change interval is a good time to give your car some additional attention:

Check all fluid levels (engine oil, transmission, coolant, brakes, differential, windshield washer) and top off as needed with the correct fluids – and look for evidence of leaks
Check tire condition and air pressures – uneven wear could indicate wheel misalignment
Check the battery for corrosion and loose cables
Check all lights for proper operation
Check wiper condition and operation
Check the condition of belts and hoses
Check the engine air filter
Check the fuel lines and filter (if visible/accessible)
Check the cabin air filter
Inspect the brakes (pads and rotors, shoes and drums, brake lines)
Inspect suspension and steering components
Inspect the chassis and lubricate as needed
Inspect ignition components (wires, plugs, coil packs, etc.)
Check the exhaust for holes and leaks, and loose hangers. If all of this seems too much then feel free to drop your car off at our service department for a complete check up.

How to Winterize Your Car

  1. Battery – Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it’s wise to check the battery and charging system for optimum performance. Because batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.
  2. Antifreeze – Antifreeze (coolant) should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles. As a reminder, do not add 100 percent antifreeze as full-strength antifreeze actually has a lower freeze point than when mixed with water.
  3. Brakes – Have the brake system checked. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
  4. Tires – Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure, including the spare. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires lose pressure when temperatures drop.
  5. Oil – Be diligent about changing the oil at recommended intervals and check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time. Consider changing to low-viscosity oil in winter, as it will flow more easily between moving parts when cold. In sub-zero driving temperatures, drop oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.
  6. Lights & Wipers – Make sure all exterior and interior lights are working so you can see and be seen. Check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir and replace wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield.