The days are getting longer, school is out, and summer is almost here! The rising temperatures have a lot of people itching to hop into their car and head to a body of water or hiking trail. Summer vacations are a time to unplug, relax and have fun with your family and friends. They do, however, require a bit of preparation beforehand. If you are foregoing the airport in favor of a road trip, it’s important to give your vehicle a little TLC before hitting the road to ensure a safe, smooth trip. Nothing can put a damper on a summer road trip quite like vehicle trouble. Before heading out, it’s a good rule of thumb to do a quick check – and service if necessary – of some items on your vehicle.
Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that come in direct contact with the road, so it’s vital they are in proper working condition before your trip. We can’t think of anything much worse than having to pull off the side of the highway on a hot day to change your tire. You can minimize the risk of a tire failure by inspecting your tire tread and pressure, as well as checking for any bulging or cracking along the sidewall. If you notice your vehicle pulling to the side or vibrating, it may also be time to have your wheel alignment inspected.
Your tires are not the only important part of your vehicle. We also recommend checking and changing your oil, checking and topping of all fluids under the hood, inspecting your wiper blades, and inspecting your brakes before your trip. These are all vital components of a properly performing vehicle and can easily ruin a trip if they malfunction 200 miles down the road!
It’s never a bad idea to stock a vehicle emergency kit for unexpected emergencies. What you put in your kit is up to you, but we recommend a few important things such as jumper cables, a flashlight, tow strap, drinking water and non-perishable snacks. Unfortunately, most roadside emergencies happen when you least expect it, so you will never regret being prepared with an emergency kit.
A little preparation before your road trip will help ensure you have a safe, smooth trip! No matter if you are heading down the road to the local campground or driving hundreds of miles to the coast, your vehicle will appreciate a little TLC before you leave. After all, if you take care of your vehicle it will take care of you. Now it’s time to hit the road and have some fun!