The summer season is officially here, which means lots of fun road trips. While you spend hours figuring out all the cool spots you will hit up this summer, don’t forget that your trip will be a whole lot less fun if your car breaks down.
The summer season is officially here, which means lots of fun road trips. While you spend hours figuring out all the cool spots you will hit up this summer, don’t forget that your trip will be a whole lot less fun if your car breaks down. Spending hours on the side of a road waiting for AAA to come pick you up is not how most of us would like to spend enjoy the summer season. Here are five tips to prepare your car for the summer:
1. Check all of your fluids: We always remember to pack water and snacks to stay hydrated during the trip, but don’t forget that your car also needs important fluids to keep it going. Before you jump onto the road check your:
-Engine oil (get it changed as well, if it’s time)
-Brake, power steering and transmission and windshield washer fluids
-If it has been a while since your last tune up, it won’t hurt to have that done as well.
2. Tires are just as important as shoes: Can you imagine forgetting to pack your hiking boots for an exciting hike in Yosemite? Just as hiking boots are the only thing separating your feet from the trails, your car’s tires are essential to keep you movin’ down the highway. Make sure you check:
-Each tire’s tread for excessive wear and check the sidewalls for bulging or cracks.
-Check your tire pressure. Low tire pressure will also make your engine work harder, meaning that you will use more gas.
-Don’t forget to make sure to check your spare tire.
-If you can’t remember the last time that you had your tires rotated, it may be good to do that as well. They should be rotated around every 5,000 miles.
3. Windshield wipers are easy to forget: In many parts of the country, the summer season means the end to the rainy winter and spring months, but not every part of the U.S. is as lucky. New York for example gets lots of random thunder storms throughout the summer, which require the use of windshield wipers. Old windshield wipers will definitely make it much harder for you to see the road. Check:
-The condition of your wiper blades, don’t forget the one on the back if you drive an SUV or wagon. If the wiper blades are cracked or the rubber is falling off you will want to replace them.
-Another good check is if the blades don’t clean the windshield in one pass, they need to be swapped out for fresh ones.
4. A/C (Summer = Hot): In some parts of the country you probably only have to use you’re air conditioning during the summer months, so it may have been months since you last turned it on. Make sure you have it checked out by a mechanic before you set off on your trip.
Can you imagine driving through 100 degree temps in Arizona, only to find out that your air conditioning is on its last leg?
5. Batteries keep everything going: Forgetting the battery charger for your iPhone or GPS system would make your trip a lot harder, but don’t forget that your car also has a battery. A dead battery could mean that you would be stranded on the road in the summer heat. The average battery can last anywhere from two to three years, so if yours is older than that, have it checked out.
Have a great summer!