Summer is coming and that means road trip season will be in full swing. Whether you dream of cruising up the beautiful California coastline or heading east to visit a few national parks, it’s important your car is in tip top shape to get you there safely. Here’s what to check before you go:
You – or your mechanic – should check the oil, brake fluid, coolant, power-steering and transmission fluid, and wiper fluids to ensure optimum levels.
Check your car manual for the appropriate tire pressure level and head to your local gas station for a fill-up, if needed. Don’t forget to check your spare tire as well.
Tip: if you don’t know how to change a tire, spend time with someone who can show you how, or watch a YouTube tutorial before you go. The last thing you want is to be on a deserted road with a flat tire and no cell service. You’d be without the ability to call for help or watch a video to figure it out on your own. Arm yourself with that knowledge in advance and make sure you have the tools to do the job.
All Things Rubber
Your hoses, belts, and windshield wipers should all be checked for dry rot. Any signs of cracking or crumbling mean it’s time to replace those parts.
Make sure your radiator is free of debris. And if you haven’t changed your air filter in a while, now is a good time.
Signs of Life
You’ll want to make sure your battery isn’t going to give out on you in the middle of nowhere. The same goes for your brake pads and all the lights on your car. Fix that broken taillight and check out any squeaking noises your car makes when you step on the brake.
Your glove box should have your vehicle’s current registration, insurance information, and the phone number for roadside service in case you need it.
Keep an emergency kit in the car that includes First Aid items, a flashlight, jumper cables, tools to change a tire, warning lights and/or flares, and a fire extinguisher. You can never be too prepared – especially when you are far from familiar surroundings.
Your road trip memories shouldn’t include a roadside breakdown. A little preparation will offer peace of mind and ensure a smooth ride to your destination.