Here we are, the first day of summer. Besides being the longest day of the year, it also marks the official start to the season of road trips and outdoor fun. While some of us celebrate certain summer activities year-round, for others this is the only time for road trips and lake days. No matter what the activity, it's best to be ready for the adventure at hand.
Some of the simplest things can help you avoid being stranded rather by boat, RV, motorcycle, or auto. Below are a few of the top things to look at before you hit the open road (or body of water) this summer.
I have always said that tires are the only thing between you and the road, so don't neglect them. Checking your vehicles tires and tire pressure at the very least once a month can save you time, money, and heartache.
It saves you time by not getting stuck on the side of the road with a flat. It can save you money as under-inflated tires wear considerably faster. It can save you heartache from getting a potential blowout and doing further damage than just a flat tire.
Always check the owner's manual for proper air pressure. The proper inflation for you trailer, cycle, or vehicle is not on the tire. That number is typically the highest the tire can be inflated per the tire's manufacturer. Vehicle weight determines the proper inflation.
Any vehicle that is used seasonally or even less than once a week, should utilize a fuel stabilizer fluid. I use Sta-bil in my lawnmower and motorcycles. These items sometimes sit and stale gas can cause damage to the engine. The latest ethanol craze furthers the threat of damage. So be on the safe side and add a few ounces to anything with an engine you don't use on a more frequent basis (see fuel stabilizer instructions for specific amount).
No matter what the application, air is a major contributor to the "mix" of an internal combustion engine. While air restriction might not necessarily leave you stranded, enough loss of air and the engine will die. Again, this is not common but is still something to prevent. Poor air-flow and restricted air flow will affect the performance of an engine too.
This is another major element for most vehicles equipped with an internal combustion engine. How you treat a battery while not in use directly affects how it performs while in use. For seasonal vehicles it's best to utilize a trickle charger. This will keep your conventional battery from dipping below the standard voltage capacity. The exception to this rule would be deep-cycle batteries. These are most commonly found in RV and boat applications. They can be "cycled" down and brought back up, unlike standard batteries.
Happy Motoring, Lance