From Clearissa Coward’s Command Center
7 Tips To Get Your Car Ready For A Summer Road Trip
It’s that time of year again…This deserves a repeat. I hope you will not get on the road with your family for summer vacation without making an appointment with your most reliable mechanic giving your vehicle a thorough check-up. Are you driving to grandma’s house this summer? Or perhaps you are taking a road trip to a beautiful beach? Whether you are driving cross-country or to an amusement park close to home, you need to get your car ready for summer. Most people winterize their cars, but we should summarize our vehicles as well. Below, I will give you 7 tips for summarizing your vehicle.
There are affiliate links within this post. However, all opinions and ideas are my own. Clicking on and using the links to purchase products does not increase your cost at all. I appreciate your support.
Tires – According to Jalopnik Tires are the single most important part of your car. Underinflated tires can have an enormous impact on the performance of your vehicle and left uncheck, tires can be the cause of accidents and if ignored can even be the cost of a fatal accident.
You need to inspect the tread of your tires. You also need to check the inflation level of each tire as well, because an under or overly inflated tire can be responsible for uneven wear and an unexpected blowout.
Note: While you are checking your tires, remember to check your spare tire as well. I don’t about where you live, but here today it is 95 degrees and climbing and just think of having tire blowout or go flat during the heat of summer and to find out your spare tire is flat or damaged as well. Whew, that would be a disaster. Finally, if there is uneven wear on your tires, an alignment is required.
Air Conditioning /Cooling System – No one wants to travel in a smoldering car during summer. We have all heard of how the temperature in a vehicle can rise on a hot day. So, before you leave on your drive, follow the advice of The National Institute of Automotive Service Institute (ASE) who advises that we should completely flush and refill the cooling system every 24 months and the level and condition of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended.) Note: Advice for you DIYers – never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro
Oil & Engine Performance – Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer. ASE also suggests that you replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended and more often in dusty conditions.
Windshield Wipers – A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can be a safety hazard. You should replace your blades and top off your windshield solvent before any trip. You also need working windshield wipers for those unexpected summer rain showers.
Battery – You should have your battery checked before a trip. The only way to determine a weak battery is to have a professional check the battery. I usually take my car to Advance Auto and they will put a machine on the battery and check it for no cost.
Lights – ASE suggests that we inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
Engine Performance – This is the biggee and unless you are mechanically inclined, I suggest you take your vehicle to the dealer or a reliable shop to have an engine diagnostic test performed. While you’re at it, you should also have filters replaced (air, fuel, PCV, etc,) and all hoses and electrical connections checked as well. This is also a good time to have all fluids checked and topped off.
Emergency Kit – Finally, before taking off on your road trip, I would suggest packing an emergency kit just to be on the safe side. An emergency kit should be in the car at all times although contents may change seasonally. For the summer I suggest the following:
- bottled water
- snacks (make sure they are the types that will not melt in the heat)
- flashlight (don’t forget to check the batteries)
- extra batteries
- first aid kit
- folding shovel
- jumper cables
- tire fix
- spare tire
Do you prefer to fly, take the train, or drive when traveling? When planning a road trip do you make car maintenance a priority? Do you currently have an emergency kit in your car? Leave your responses in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you.
Never miss another article, tip, real-life experience or project. Get them delivered directly to your email. Subscribe today! And let’s stay connected.
If you liked this post, you may also enjoy this one.
Until next time…Find And Remain In Your Own Personal Element – God Bless!
You Can Find Me:
Share this post with your friends. I greatly appreciate it and I appreciate you.
Leaving You With Hugs & Blessings,