We are open to serve our customers and municipalities through these times for pick up and drop off service during our normally scheduled hours. We have always prided our shop on cleanliness and have gone even further to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. Moving forward, Shade Tree Auto is committed to following the guidelines of the State of Iowa and direction from the CDC regarding our services.

Prepping Your Car for a Roadtrip

Oct 21, 2019

When taking a road trip, the last thing you want is to have an unexpected breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, newer cars tend to have fewer problems and are more reliable on long distance trips. Although, fewer breakdowns can lead to a sense of overconfidence for many car owners. It’s important to remember that even the best of cars need regular maintenance and upkeep. The worst time for an issue is while you’re away from home. Here’s our tips for a smooth road trip. 

Check your Tires

The only part of your vehicle that touches the road. If one of these develops an issue, you’re going to be stuck wherever you are, and you have four chances of an issue with tires. Proper tire pressure is crucial, and it’s listed in your owner’s manual or on a sticker near the driver’s door. Low tire pressure will cause the sidewall to flex and build up heat, it’s the heat that causes the “blowout” over time. Keeping the proper pressures will not only help prevent this, but it will also allow the treads to wear evenly extending the life of the tire in the process.

Make sure your car has enough fluid

Your car lives on engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering and brake fluid. Finding the proper levels and fluids for your car is easy to do in the specifications section of your users manual.

Are your wipers working?

Remember the last time it rained? You needed your wipers to help you navigate the road. It’s easy to forget how important your wipers are until they run out of wiper fluid. It’s very easy to replace and not expensive to find at your local hardware store.  

Pack an emergency kit 

Staying on top of maintenance and repairs on your time and budget is your best bet for a safe trip. You don’t need a tool box, extra fluids or a full sized spare each time you hop in the car. But we do recommend packing an extra phone charger, batters, a paper map of the area you are traveling and a few bottles of water and non perishable snacks. If you do find yourself stuck on the side of the road, try and make it to a safe spot and call for roadside assistance. Let the tow truck bring the tools and services you need to safely get you back on the road. Check with your insurance carrier, or opt for a 3rd party such as AAA for relatively cheap peace of mind.