road trip

Whether you’re heading up to the cabin or visiting a national park across the country, summer road trips take some planning. From planning the best route to stocking up on the perfect road trip snacks, you probably have a to-do list with items waiting to be checked off. If you haven’t added your car to the list of things to do before you leave, then you might want to think again. Safe travels and peace of mind start with making sure your car is road trip ready. If you don’t know what steps to take to get your car ready, then keep reading for some ideas.

Check your tire pressure before a road trip

Your tires are the thing that keeps your whole trip rolling – literally, which is why it’s a good idea to check them before you leave.  Did you know that improperly inflated tires can add stress to your engine, unnecessary wear & tear on your brakes, and can cause uneven wear to your tires? In addition, tires with low pressure can decrease your fuel economy by 1%, and are susceptible to blow outs. Save yourself from a big road trip headache and fill your tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure (you can find this in your owner’s manual or on the sticker placed on the driver’s side door jam).

Have your tires rotated

If your car is a front wheel or rear wheel drive, then the wheels that receive the power can wear more quickly. Getting your tires rotated will prevent uneven tire wear, and should be performed every 5,000 – 8,000 miles. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your tires rotated, or you’ve noticed uneven wear, then it’s a good idea to get this done before you hit the road.

Check your brakes prior to your road trip

Your brakes are essential to your safety, so it’s a good idea to have them inspected before a long road trip. Some signs that your brakes need some attention include: squealing noises when braking, a spongy brake pedal, a shaking brake pedal, and pulling to one side when braking. If you notice any of these signs or it’s been a while since you’ve had them inspected, then it’s a good idea to ask your mechanic to take a look.

Have your belts & hoses inspected

Your belts and hoses are critical to keeping your electrical, power steering, and cooling systems functioning which is why it’s a good idea to have them inspected before heading out on your trip. You’ll want to have your belts inspected to determine whether they are frayed or cracked. While your mechanic is inspecting, they can also verify that your belts are tightly installed and secure. When it comes to your hoses, ask them to inspect for any drips or leaks. A broken or cracked belt or hose can lead to a breakdown by the side of the road – so we always recommend checking them before a big trip.

Ask for an AC system check

With the dog days of summer approaching, we recommend asking your mechanic to run an AC system check to make sure your AC is ready to keep you cool on those hot days. While you’ve running that check, you can have your cabin air filter replaced – which keeps pollen, allergens, and mold from getting inside your car.

Check your lights

One last thing you’ll want to check? Your lights. Check to make sure your headlights, taillights, and turn signals are in working order and replace any burned out bulbs. While you’re checking your car’s exterior, it’s also a good idea to inspect your windshield wiper blades. We recommend replacing your blades every 6 months, so it’s a good idea to replace them now in case you run into any heavy rains.

Once you’ve checked these 6 things, you should be ready to head out on your next adventure. And if you need some help getting these items inspected, our team is ready to help. Simply call and make an appointment, and we’ll have you back on the road in no time.