Is Your Car Ready For Your Summer Road Trip?

School’s out, the sun is shining and you and your family are ready for that big summer road trip that you’ve been planning. Before you think about packing lists, booking accommodations and how to keep your kids occupied for hours on the road, your first concern should be ensuring that you will reach your destination safely. Remember to take the necessary precautions to make sure that your vehicle is ready for a safe trip.

Here’s a simple list to help you check if your car is ready for your summer road trip:

1) Windshield

Does your windshield have any small chips or damage? If yes, get it repaired immediately! A tiny chip can easily grow into a large crack that will not only impair your visibility but more significantly, it can compromise the structural integrity of your vehicle.

2) Tires

What are the conditions of your tires? Check the wear & tear as well as pressure of your tires before embarking on a road trip. Tires that are worn or bald should be replaced before your trip. When carrying a full load of passengers in the summer heat, tire pressure is important. If your tires are underinflated, heat can build up can cause the tires to fail or blow.

You should also check your spare tire and ensure that it is properly inflated. If traveling in less populated areas, it is a good idea to have a full-size spare tire instead of a ‘donut’.

3) Brakes

Are your brakes performing well? Poorly functioning brakes can mean the difference between life and death.

4) Fluids

There are so many fluids that are key to the performance of your vehicle and not checking on them could absolutely spoil your road trip.

  • When was the last time you changed the oil? Remember that oil should be changed frequently (every 3,000 to 5,000 miles).
  • When was the last time you flushed your radiator and changed your engine coolant? If it was longer than 2 years ago, get it done now! The warm summer weather is especially tough on the cooling system of your car so do remember do check your radiator.
  • Have you checked the fluids for your transmission, brake, radiator, battery, etc?

Keeping hydrated during summer is key, even for your car!

5) Batteries

When was the last time you replaced your batteries? On average, a battery can last three and a half years, so if your battery is nearing the end of its shelf life, it’s best to replace it before you start your road trip. Summer heat can be tough on batteries, and you don’t want to be caught out on the roads with empty batteries and a car-full of frustrated passengers!

6) Rubber parts under your hood

Are the rubber parts under your hood in good condition? Inspect the rubber hoses such as those that connect your radiator and heater and vacuum hoses for any damage. Also check on the condition of all belts. Our recommendation: don’t forget a roll of duct-tape which can be used to save your hoses in case of any malfunction.

7) Spark Plugs

Are your spark plugs functioning well? If your spark plugs are misfiring or worn, your engine performance will be adversely affected.

8) Lights

Are all the lights on your vehicle working? Check your headlights, taillights and turn signals.

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