Preparing Your Vehicle for a Summer Road Trip

Summer is almost here. That usually means a little freedom from the office. Dare we even say: vacation?

When you have a high-end car or SUV, it’s not uncommon to eschew plane travel and hit the open road for your vacation. With that in mind, we’d like to offer you a few tips about prepping your vehicle for a summer road trip.

Let’s start with the obvious. Before you take any long road trip, you’re going to want to make sure your car is in good working order. You don’t want any unforeseen surprises when you’re on the road – miles away from the mechanics you trust.

Here’s what to check: battery, brakes, fluids, wipers and tires (check pressure and measure tread – make sure you have a working spare tire too.) Depending on your knowledge base, you might be able to check these criticals yourself. A better idea: take it to your mechanic to guarantee road worthiness.

Next up you’re going to want to check your navigation tools. In today’s day and age, most of us rely pretty heavily on GPS, whether on your phone or in the dash. However, technology doesn’t always work, especially in rural areas that you might travel through or to for your vacation. It’s advisable to have an old standby map with you for peace of mind and safety’s sake.

As much as you prepare your vehicle for a smooth summer ride off into the sunset, breakdowns and accidents are always possible. To this end, you’re going to want an emergency kit in your car. Kits are available pre-made or you can assemble one on your own. If you choose the latter, your kit should contain: blanket, flashlight, flares, first aid kit, motor oil, coolant, jumper cables, tool kit (screwdriver, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife, tire pressure gauge), Fix-a-Flat (or comparable tire inflator), spare key, phone charger, and car jack.

Your car isn’t the only thing that may need attention in the case of a breakdown or accident. You’re going to want to have a stash of nonperishable healthy snacks (such as granola bars) and bottled water.

The last thing you’ll want to make sure you have is roadside assistance service. Chances are it’s included with your insurance policy. If not, look into AAA coverage.

Finally, the most important thing to remember about a summer road trip is that it’s meant to be fun. Set yourself up for fun by making sure your car or truck is not going to be the source of any stress. Make sure it’s in good working order and that you have all the supplies needed for emergency situations.

For further assistance with your summer road trip plans, this article on DoItYourself.com offers details on advisable preparations you should take.

For information on how to put together a quality Emergency Kit, read this article from Edmunds.com.

Once you have all that prep done, it’s time to enjoy the open road. We’ll see you when you get back!