Are you and your family going on a road trip this summer? Our country has so many beautiful towns and cities that it's hard to decide which one to visit first. But no matter where you're going on your trip, it's important to make sure your car is up to the journey. Discover a few simple precautions to take before backing out of your familiar two-car garage and heading for the open highway. Enjoy!
Check the Tires
You probably already know that checking your tire pressure is a top priority before leaving on a car trip. Check the manufacturer's sticker on the driver's side door or look in your owner's manual to find out your ideal tire pressure. It's also a smart idea to check the condition of the tire tread. Examine your tires to find areas that are more worn than the rest of the tire. When you find uneven wear on the tires, it's time to have them rotated. This can help to prevent a flat tire on your road trip.
Refresh Your Tire-Changing Skills
Of course, there's always a chance that you'll need to change a tire while on the road. If it's been a while since you changed a tire, remove the jack, lug wrench, and spare tire from your car's trunk to look them over. Then, review the steps of how to change a tire. By the way, you can review the steps without actually changing a tire. There is a good chance that you won't have to change a tire on your trip, but it will give you peace of mind to know you could do it if you had to.
Change the Oil and the Air Filter
Changing the oil is another basic thing you can do to keep your car running smoothly on your trip. You can change the oil yourself or take your car to professionals who can change it for you. Checking the condition of your car's air filter is also important. A clean air filter keeps dirt, dust, and other debris away from the engine, allowing it to run with efficiency.
Evaluate Your Windshield Wipers
It's easy to forget about the state of your windshield wipers until it starts pouring rain when you're out on the road. So before you leave on your road trip, check to see if the wiper blades are in good shape. If they leave smears across your windshield or clean it unevenly, it's time to replace the blades. You'll be glad your windshield wipers are in good working order if you encounter a summer storm on the highway.
Pack an Emergency Kit
There's a good chance you already have an emergency kit in the trunk of your car. But it's a good idea to check its contents before leaving on a trip. Some must-have items in an emergency kit include jumper cables, reflector triangles, scissors, rope, a flashlight, work gloves, paper towels, a funnel, and a blanket. In addition, make sure to take along a charger for your cellphone, non-perishable snacks, water, and a first-aid kit. I suggest you have these things in your car's trunk all year round. These items may take up a bit of space in your trunk that could be used for suitcases, but you'll be glad you packed them if you have car trouble.
You may also think about taking along a traditional folding map in case something goes awry with your GPS. If your GPS decides to have a meltdown, you and your family can pull out your trusty paper map and stay right on course! Thanks for reading. - Alan