Tuneup Before You Head to the Beach This Summer

Memorial Day celebrations marked the unofficial start to summer, and many families are gearing up for weekend trips to the beach. Any seasoned beachgoer knows southbound traffic on the Garden State Parkway is slow-moving at best on the weekends, so the last thing you want is to have your car breakdown along the journey. Before you pack your kids, coolers and beach chairs into the family car, it's a good idea to get a tuneup and make sure your vehicle is ready for a trip to the Jersey Shore.

There are a few things you can do in your own driveway, but for messier and more skilled work, you can bring your car to the experts at New Jersey State Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center in Jersey City. They can change the oil and other fluids and inspect the car for any potential issues that could ruin a weekend getaway. Be sure to have them check the brakes and replace worn pads before you hit the road, and you'll appreciate the work when you're sitting in stop-and-go traffic.

When it comes to at-home maintenance, you should check the tire pressure and fluid levels. Top off the coolant and oil to reduce the risk of possibly overheating. If you suspect the coolant may be leaking, you might want to get a bottle of pre-mixed coolant to keep in the car. This way, you'll be able to add more along the way to your destination if need be. In extreme emergencies you can add just water, but this should be a last-ditch effort as undistilled water can damage the cooling system.

It is also important to check windshield washer fluid levels and the wipers themselves, replacing damaged wipers if necessary. This will ensure you have the best visibility possible along your journey.