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Summer Road-Tripping Checklist

July 1st, 2013

Summertime equals Vacation Time! Whether you are driving across town for a weekend, or across the United States- There are so many things you can do to make sure that your trip is a safe one. If your vehicle is properly maintained and checked before travelling you are much less likely to experience a breakdown, you may get better fuel efficiency, and you could have a safer journey, leaving behind the worry and anxiety of an unplanned, vacation-ruining visit with a tow-truck.


From our family to yours, here are some of the best ways to be prepared for summer travel this season:


·         Get a Tune Up! – This is one of the most simple, and comprehensive maintenance procedures you can get for your vehicle. Typically recommended once a year, this quick fix will top off your fluids, check your engine functions, replace filters, and change out fuses and spark plugs. Tune Ups can provide better gas mileage, a cleaner running engine, cleaner cabin air, and a smoother ride. On top of looking for common problems like leaks or cracks on hoses and belts, a tune up is like a yearly check up for your car to help keep it on the road and running at its peak performance!


·         Check your brakes – This cannot be stressed enough! Make sure you check your breaks and replace them if necessary before travel. Your mechanic can easily check brakes, rotors, or brake pads during tire rotations or other routine services. Towing a boat or trailer is not the time to realize your breaks aren’t up to par- any squealing or grinding should be serviced immediately for your safety.


·         Check the battery – Battery testers can provide an accurate reading on how well your battery is functioning. Check for corrosion, worn wires, or signs of damage. Be prepared and carry jumper cables or a portable battery charger when travelling, especially in extreme temperatures.



·         Check and top off fluids – Check engine oil, window washer fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake, and transmission fluid. Change or replace fluid that appears or smells burnt. When travelling, keeping a spare bottle of engine oil or washer fluid may come in handy on long trips.


·         Check air and oil filters – Air and oil filters that are dirty, worn, or damaged can affect performance and gas mileage. Check your cabin air-filter if applicable as well to keep the interior of the cabin dust and particle free, for a safe, healthy trip.



·         Check belts and hoses – Check and replace any belts or hoses that are cracked or worn. Look for leaks in hoses or chunks missing from belts. Make sure to replace these in advance, as belts may require additional tightening after initial replacement.


·         Check your tires – Make sure your tires are in good condition for travel. They should have safe tread, and should be properly rated for the kind of driving at hand. If travelling off road or in inclement weather, you may want to look into specialty tires that will withstand the elements. Check for signs of uneven wear or damage. Consider tire rotation before and after a long trip. When travelling, make sure to always carry a spare tire and know how to change a flat.



·         Check gas cap – Last but certainly not least, check to see if your gas cap is secure and does not have any cracks. Gasoline fumes can become especially dangerous in warmer weather, and particles entering the gas tank can cause irreparable damage to the engine.


Stop in to your trusted mechanic for an assessment of your vehicle before travelling this season, or for more tips on summer driving. Have a safe and happy summer! 

  Posted in: Tires 101