In Brazil, there is a culture of car repair only in the run-up to the holidays. However, to keep the car in good condition and prevent future problems, it’s also important to schedule a post-trip service. A simple review by a trusted mechanic can prevent any inconvenience and ensure the safety of vehicle users.
“The first step after the trip is to notice if there are any changes in the behavior of the vehicle, such as increased fuel consumption and abnormal noises in the suspension and brakes,” says Hiromori Mori, technical assistance advisor for NGK do Brasil. Next, the expert recommends checking the engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and differential oil for leaks, as well as checking the shock absorbers and brake system. Finally, it is worth planning a good car wash to remove any dirt or residue from sea air.
Precautions and attention on the road Trip
Before hitting the road, the driver can collect a history of refueling, mileage, average fuel consumption and known adverse events along the route. “Both this data and vehicle monitoring tend to help a trusted mechanic perform an inspection on the vehicle, ensuring safe use upon return from vacation,” Morey says.
Traveling in extremely hot places requires extra attention to the vehicle’s cooling system. In addition to high temperatures, summer is characterized by heavy rain. So, at this time of year, it becomes imperative to check the lighting system, windshield wipers, and the condition of the tires. “It is also necessary to take special care with the sludge, which can adhere to the surfaces of the radiator or transmission heat exchanger, impairing its operation,” warns the NGK do Brasil specialist.
Spark plugs, wires and coils
Critical to engine operation, ignition system components must be prioritized during the post-holiday service. “When spark plugs, wires, and coils wear out, they can cause serious damage, including increased fuel economy, difficulty starting and picking up speed, loss of performance, and rough idle,” warns Morey.
So NGK’s direction is to start checking the system from the spark plug, the one part inside the combustion chamber that’s easiest to remove. “A simple visual analysis of the part can help identify a variety of engine condition issues, such as poor fuel use and combustion chamber oil or coolant leaks,” Morey instructs.