It’s that wonderful time of year when the days begin to stretch longer, the weather grows warmer, and schools are out for summer. That’s right – it’s road trip season! Summer is our absolute favorite time of the year to get our Corvettes on the open road and see what they can do. It’s when we stop dreaming and start driving!
Before embarking on your big adventure, we recommend giving your Corvette a thorough inspection. If it’s been in storage all winter, it may need a few short trips to stretch out its muscles and wake-up a bit from its long slumber. If your Corvette is driven regularly, minimal preparation may be required, but you never know what surprises may occur on the open road. Better safe than sorry, in our book.
Most road trips are easier on a Corvette’s fluid than daily city driving, but mountainous and desert driving can cause a good amount of strain. At a minimum, engine oil and coolant should be changed before any major road trip. Transmission, differential, cooling system, brake fluid, and power steering fluids should be changed every two years if driving regularly, and once-a-year if the Corvette mainly sits for the greater part of the year.
Check the whole braking system, including the wheel cylinders, calipers, and brake lines. Look for small leaks that can be a major problem on disc brake cars. Also, be mindful of pedal pulsation when applying brakes. The pulsation acts as a warning sign when brakes are overheated due to multiple applications at high speeds. The pulsations could go quickly from a warning to a dangerous situation during a road trip.
Tires tend to be the greatest pain point during road trips. You’ll want to thoroughly check each tire for incorrect wear or damage. Remember to check tire pressure multiple times during your trip. Inflating your ties to maximum pressure will increase fuel mileage, while low tire pressure can cause excessive heat or severe tire damage.
Make sure you have a working jack, lug wrench, and air in the spare tire if your Corvette is not equipped with run flat technology.
Under the Hood
Look at belts for racking and missing pieces. A long road trip will strain an already weakened belt. An ignition system in poor shape can make a trip aggravating, but would hopefully get you home.
As long as the battery is less than four years old and acid is not leaking out of the side post battery cable mounting lugs, it should be good to go.
On the electric front, depending on the year of your Corvette, it’s important to consider how many accessories you may use on your road trip and plan for additional wiring. With so many toys available, one cigarette lighter receptacle is not enough for the additional load. If an accessory uses high amperage connect it directly to the battery. Put an assortment of extra fuses in the glove box.
Give your Corvette’s exterior lighting a thorough once-over. Do the brake lights work? Are the turning signal blinking? Reverse lights? Replace any necessary lighting, and polish headlight covers that appear to be a little grubby.
Check the wiper blades and washer for proper operation.
If you find yourself in need of a Corvette mechanic, come to the Rick Hendrick Corvette Service Center. We stand behind our work and we use only certified Corvette performance parts when servicing your car. Whether it’s the current model year Corvette or a classic ‘Vette from years gone by, we treat you and your car right, making sure you both end up where you want to be: On the open road!
Happy Road Tripping!