Road trips are an iconic part of the summer, and it’s about that time of year. 🥳 You have your route mapped, hotel booked, and a checklist made of things to do before you hit the road. Before you leave, make sure these things are included in your checklist.
Check tires and tire pressure
Inspect all yours tires and the spare tire as well. Look for cuts, gouges or sidewall bulges. Insert a quarter upside down into grooves to check tire tread. If you see the top of George Washington’s head, it is time for new tires.
Check tire pressure when the car has been idle and tires are cool. Inflate as needed to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure. You will find it listed in the owner’s manual and on the sticker of the driver side door jamb. Do not use the number on the tire sidewall.
Listen to and feel the breaks
If you hear a grinding sound or feel a vibration when applying the brakes, take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for a brake inspection. A service professional will check the brake system for fluid leaks, and the pads, rotors, shoes and drums.
Top off engine oil and other fluids
Check the engine oil, coolant, transmission, and power steering fluids are at the correct levels for safe vehicle operation. When adding fluids, use products that meet the specifications listed in the owner’s manual.
Clean out your car and replenish emergency kit
Cleaning out your car before you hit the road will start your trip off on the right foot. There’s no way to avoid garbage piling up during your road trip, but you don’t want to start off that way. While you are clearing out what you don’t need, make sure that your emergency kit is replenished. Include a flashlight, extra battery, first-aid supplies, drinking water, non-perishable snacks for people and pets, car battery booster cables, emergency flares or reflectors, blanket, basic tool kit, and shop rags or paper towels.
Get enough sleep
Whether you drive by yourself or if you have someone else to cover driving if you get tired, it’s important to get a good night’s rest before you take off.
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