Car trouble is the last thing that you want to have happen on your next road trip this summer, as the idea of being stranded on the side of the road isn't likely how you envisioned the trip going. Fortunately, you'll get warning signs of many automotive issues in advance, which will allow you to pull off the highway and find the nearest repair shop. With the help of your smartphone, you can identify a repair shop in close proximity to where you are and show up to have the problems addressed. Here are some early warning signs of automotive issues that you could experience during long trips.
Low Tire Pressure
Car tires will actually increase in pressure as they get hotter, which is what you'll commonly experience on a long drive. However, if a tire is low in pressure, it could mean that you've run over something sharp enough to make a small hole in the tire. You shouldn't ignore this issue—a slow leak might not seem major, but it can quickly escalate. There are a few ways to tell if you have low tire pressure in any of your tires. The easiest is that you'll get a notification on your vehicle's display panel. You can also use a pressure gauge to check your tire pressure when you stop for gas. A repair technician can patch any problematic tire for you.
Risk of Overheating
Long road trips in hot conditions can put your vehicle at risk of overheating if its fluids aren't topped up. Your "Check Engine" light doesn't need to come on to indicate that the vehicle is at risk of overheating. As you travel, keep an eye on the vehicle's temperature gauge. Commonly, it should hover around the midway point. If you see that it's starting to creep upward, you'll want to take a detour to the nearest auto repair shop, where a technician can check your coolant levels and top up the reservoir.
You may also notice some creaking sounds from your vehicle's back end. This can especially be the case if your trunk is packed with heavy luggage and your backseat is filled with people. Over time, a vehicle's rear suspension can get creaky, and this is something that you'll want to have addressed. It may simply need to be lubricated, or you may need to have your shocks replaced—fortunately, most auto repair shops can do both.