Hey ya’ll, welcome back to my “Ask The Engine Answerman” series! A few weeks back I started taking questions from my internet friends (and everyone I meet out on my Engine Answerman tour) via my new “Ask Bobby” page, as well as on Facebook, or via Twitter… and then answering ’em here on my blog for the whole world to enjoy! It’s been a blast talking with you all, so keep your questions coming!
In my first post (click here to read it) I covered STA-BIL / HEET’s effect on fuel performance, as well as carburetor corrosion and great road trip music and playlists. This week, I’m following up with some important tips for Summer Travel Safety… and specifically windshield maintenance!
“Windshield maintenance from The Engine Answerman?” you’re probably asking? Well, you heard me right – we’ll start there! You’ve got to be able to SEE the road before anything else as far as I’m concerned, and that’s why your often-overlooked windshield wipers may need a little extra love the next time you’re in the garage or stopping for gas!
Here’s the deal – during the hottest months of the summer, your windshield wipers can dry rot and become hard, rendering them unsafe during rainy drives. And while your go-to instinct may be to replace them if you find them in poor condition, first try some 303 Aerospace Protectant – windshield wipers are just one of the many things it can bring back to life. Just wipe each wiper blade with a rag dampened with the 303 to soften them, and you will be ready for that afternoon shower!
Speaking of your windshield, it’s not just the wiper blades that need attention! You should always be sure to have plenty of windshield washer fluid before a long trip – and chances are the fluid you’ve been using isn’t as powerful (or environmentally responsible) as other options out there! Here’s a video on how using a better washer like 303® Instant Windshield Washer Tablets can make a big difference…
And this probably goes without saying… but while you are under the hood, be sure to check not just your wausher fluid, but also your oil, coolant and brake fluids too! Each vehicle is a little different, but doing a check shouldn’t be hard, and if you find any of the fluids low, you can proceed from there.
This question was inspired by a tweet about Summer Travel Safety Tips from @FunctionalGirl, by the way… their site is a place “where knowledge is power and information is currency” which sounds like just the sort of thing ‘m all about, so you know I had to help ’em out!
@FunctionalGirl I'm working on a blog post for ya… but always check the spare tire & fluids b4 leaving, and have an emergency kit too! 🙂
— Bobby Cleveland (@EngineAnswerman) July 28, 2014
As you can see, your windshield wipers and your vehicle’s fluids aren’t the only things I think are important to check before a long trip. Checking your spare tire (is everything you need to change a flat there and is it in good working order?) and your emergency kit (jumper cables, a tire gauge, some water, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and so on) too might get you thru a tough situation out on the road!
Another thing I’d like to let my new friends at @FunctionalGirl (as well as all of you Engine Answerman blog readers!) know is how important it is to keep your tire pressure at the manufacturers recommended levels during during the heat of the summer! While this may not be a safety tip, per-se, it will lengthen the life of your tires and also give you better fuel mileage, something we all could use on our long road trips!
Looking for more tips on summer car maintenance? Give this video a watch, and please leave ANY questions you have in the comments section below!
Stay safe our there, ya’ll… and check back soon for another “Ask The Engine Answerman” post!
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