The cold days of winter are long gone, and summer driving season is right around the corner. Pretty soon, it will be time to head out on those fun summer road trips, packing up the car, grabbing the family and hitting the open road. But before you leave the driveway, you need to make sure your vehicle is ready to make the journey.
Nothing ruins a summer road trip faster than an unexpected breakdown. Even worse, a lack of maintenance and failure to heed early warning signs could put your safety – and the safety of your family, at risk. Here are some tips for getting your car in shape for your first road trip adventure of the summer.
Have a Pre-Flight Checklist
No pilot would dream of getting in the cockpit without giving the plane a thorough inspection, and you should take the same attitude with your car. Before you head out on the open road, head down the road to your local mechanic.
Ask your automotive friends at ER Auto Care to give your vehicle the once-over, checking everything from the oil level and the spark plugs to the tires and brake lining. Once you know your vehicle is ready to make the journey, you can enjoy your vacation stress free.
Pack the Right Gear
You will want to pack plenty of things to entertain the kids, from their favorite videos and DVDs to some board games and snacks. But you will also want to pack your safety gear, starting with a fully-stocked emergency kit.
You never know when something will go wrong, and you want to be prepared for anything. Make sure you have a set of emergency flares in your car, as well as a jack and spare tire. You will also want to pack a first aid kit and a couple of blankets in case you get stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Top Off Your Fluids
You have had your pre-road trip safety check, so you know there are no fluid leaks to worry about. Even so, you should be sure to top off all your automotive fluids, including your engine oil, wiper fluid and antifreeze, before you go.
While you are topping off your wiper fluid, take a minute to look at the wipers themselves. If they are worn or cracked, it is time to get a new pair. Summer is known for its hot weather, and its sudden thunderstorms, and you do not want to be caught in a downpour with worn wiper blades.
Summer should be a time of fun and freedom, not stress and worry. By taking a few simple steps now, you can enjoy a summer full of fun road trips, quality family time and many safe miles on the open highway.