Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go! The holidays are here and your family has decided to still get together, so you’re about to load up the vehicle with the kids, luggage, gifts, and more. Have you had routine maintenance done on your vehicle in a while? If not, you need to bring it to Hoover Automotive to let our skilled mechanics take a look and tune up your vehicle before you hit the road. Here are a few things that we can and will access to make sure your vehicle is ready: 


Your tires are where the rubber meets the road….literally. It’s critically important to have them looked over before a long trip. They may need to be rotated so that each tire wears evenly and doesn’t cause you problems. Similarly, an alignment can ensure that your tires won’t wear thin or only on one side. Here are a few things we will check and/or perform on your tires:


  • Air pressure- Tire pressures should be checked at least every 1000 miles. We will check them, make sure they’re at the appropriate psi for your vehicle, and air up the ones that need it. This is something you can do at home, but since you’re already bringing your vehicle to us, we go ahead and take care of it. 

Remember: When you’re on the road for extended periods of time, the tires should be checked visually at every stop. Even more so if you are loaded down or are hauling something. It’s a good idea to keep an air pressure gauge with you. 


  • Rotation- No matter if you have front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or four-wheel drive, the wheels that receive power wear tires more quickly than non-drive-wheel tires. Rotating tires moves them front-to-back or side-to-side, promoting even wear. This service should be performed every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, so we’ll check to see if it’s time for yours to be rotated and will perform the service if we see fit (and you agree to it). 


  • Condition- Bulges and other visible damage should be inspected to ensure that the tire is structurally sound and won’t have a blowout. Unfortunately, even hitting a pothole or curb can damage a tire, so we will check each one to make sure they’re ready for lots of use. The most common issue we see is uneven tread wear or odd wear patterns- sometimes that requires new tires, and sometimes we can simply rotate them (as detailed above) to change the wear pattern.


Maintaining a vehicle’s fluids is an essential step toward ensuring that a summer road trip goes off without a hitch. The most obvious one being oil- if it’s time for an oil change, we can go ahead and take care of that. After all, it is the “lifeblood” of your vehicle. Most modern vehicles use a variety of fluids for your vehicle’s proper operation, so we will check levels to make sure your engine will perform at its best.

Components- Filters, Belts, and Brakes 

We will check your air filter and possibly change it out to ensure that your engine stays clean and running smoothly for the long trip ahead. Many other components will be looked over. Your brake pads will be checked for extensive wear- we can replace any that are too worn. We try to do a thorough inspection so that you can make the trip to “grandma’s” safely and confidently. 

Headlights, turn signals, and brake lights

Making sure all your lights and signals work is a thing of safety. People need to be able to see your vehicle at night and need to be able to see that you’ve applied the brakes so they can slow down too. Plus it prevents you from getting pulled over by a law enforcement officer. You’re welcome.

Clean the Vehicle

This one’s on you. Or you can have it professionally cleaned by your company of choice. But we recommend cleaning out your vehicle (doesn’t have to be detailed) before traveling this holiday season. It can make you feel more comfortable and less stressed to be surrounded by cleanliness. Also, you can make room for all of your luggage if you clean out whatever’s in there right now. It makes for a much better roadtrip. 

Our goal at Hoover Automotive is for you to have safe, pleasant travels this holiday season without worrying about ending up on the side of the road with car trouble. But we also want to make sure you’re not having to dish out thousands for repairs before your trip, so we can discuss what your vehicle must have and what can wait. In order to give you and your family the best road trip, we recommend bringing your vehicle to our mechanics at Hoover Automotive near the intersection of Hwy 31 and Valleydale Road in Hoover, AL. Contact us today!

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