Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip

Flip flops out car window Our valued partner AAA offers these tips on preparing your car for a summer road trip so that you can enjoy your vacation—not spend it stranded with your vehicle in the shop! 

Summer travel brings back memories to just about all of us. Millions of people will pack their cars and hit the road this summer to visit family, enjoy a long weekend close to home, or set out for a longer road trip.

AAA recommends drivers address the following key areas to prepare your vehicle for a road trip and to safely survive high summer temperatures:

Tire Pressure

Only one out of 10 drivers check their tire pressure correctly once a month, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). Traffic safety experts estimate having under-inflated tires can wear your tires twice as fast and may cost you upwards of several hundred dollars in wasted fuel each year.

Changing Oil

Changing your oil regularly can help extend the life of your vehicle by thousands of miles. It is best to change your oil based on your manufacturer’s suggested interval, but you should check your oil periodically to determine if you are due. The best method is let your car run for a few minutes, then park on a level surface and locate the oil dipstick. The oil should reach the correct level on the dipstick, and it should be a brownish yellow color. If it is a darker color, you should have your oil changed immediately.

Wiper Blades, Tires, and Brakes

Making sure your wiper blades, tires, and brakes are all working properly now can save you from the hazard’s of summer’s inclement moods. Your technician can recommend the best tire tread depth and brake pad depth for your particular driving conditions.

Air Filters

Engine air filters need to be changed at least once a year as a part of your routine maintenance schedule. Delaying this maintenance item can cause a drop in pressure that restricts airflow resulting in poor fuel economy.

Just in Case…Be Prepared for Summer Breakdowns

Even with proper preventative maintenance, summer breakdowns can still occur, so AAA recommends every driver have a well-stocked emergency kit in their vehicle. The kit should include water, nonperishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools, and a first aid kit.

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