BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Summer has set in and that means before drivers hit the highway, they may want to plan for a quick pit stop at an auto shop to make sure their car is up to the task.
"We usually are looking at tires, belts, hoses, fluids, your lights, and your windshield wipers," said John Wiley.
Wiley is the service manager over at Gordon & Sandifer Auto Shop on Perkins Road. The service technicians run through a 15-point check to bring cars up to speed for summer travel.
"It's hot out there," said Wiley. "Everyone knows that and you don't want to be stuck on the side of the road and you don't want to be dependent on someone else to stop and help you change a flat tire."
One of the most important checks he says are the tires. Wiley says drivers should make sure tires have the right amount of air in them, but also keep an eye on the treads. Riding on worn down tires could cost drivers big time. "If that tire blows while you're driving, you can lose control very easily, so you want to make sure you avoid that if at all possible," Wiley added.
Luckily, drivers can check their tires at home with the penny test. Simply stick a penny into the grooves of the tires to evaluate them. Good tread means part of Abraham Lincoln's head will disappear. If his head does not disappear, your tires need attention.
And it's not just about tires. Some other things Wiley says drivers will want to inspect are oil levels, belts, and the car's battery. While many folks are more concerned with finding the cheapest gas, Wiley says if overlooked, problems under the hood can eat up whatever savings are found at the pump. "A lot of times, if you head it off when it's just starting, the repair's not going to be as extensive as it is if it goes completely out on you," said Wiley.
Wiley believes the bottom line is the more drivers have looked at before their trips, the better.
"If you hear a little squeak, you know, get it checked out before it becomes something more major," Wiley said. "It can save you time and money in the long run."
Wiley also encourages drivers to check out their cars at least a week before a planned trip rather than waiting until the last minute. He says it could delay any possible trip.