Summer is the time to roll down the car window and embrace the heat as your head out on a road trip. While road trips aren’t as commonplace as they were years ago, blame gas prices, many still get that itch to hit the open road. There are a few important things to consider before you head out.
You might love the open road, but does your car?
Having your car inspected before you take off is the best investment you’ll make. This will not only point out potential areas of concern but will also provide peace of mind; knowing that you didn’t hit the highway with brake lines that are paper thin from rust and could have ruptured at the first hard brake is important. There are a few things you can check on your own including wiper blades, to make sure they will actually clear water, not smear it, and tires. Make sure to examine the latter for weathering cracks, proper tread amount (above 4/32 of an inch), and proper inflation pressure which is typically found on the inside of your driver’s door side of the frame or the door itself. If you do not find it in either of those locations, refer to your vehicle’s manual as their recommended pressure differs from the tire’s “Max PSI” load. Be sure to top-off brake fluid with the proper DOT spec fluid, washer fluid (do not use water), and of course your oil level. Better yet, have your oil changed just before the trip. It is also a good idea to carry a quart along for the trip in case your vehicle starts to burn oil.
What should you do if your car breaks down on your trip?
Every time your vehicle is serviced by a professional or you make a repair yourself, it is a good idea to keep a record of these services in your vehicle. This practice will help out any mechanic you may have to suddenly visit on your road trip, giving them an insight as to what repairs were performed on the car and when.
By covering these steps before you head out on the road, you’ll be making more memories instead of worrying if your car will make it there and back!