A Guide to Summer Road Trip Preparedness

When Summer is upon us, there’s no better way to explore the great outdoors than a good old-fashioned road trip. But before you pack up, ensuring your vehicle is ready for the journey is crucial. Don’t let a flat tire or a dead battery put a damper on your summer plans.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or new to the road trip game, our guide can help prepare your vehicle for an unforgettable summer adventure. So buckle up, and let’s get started!

7 Key Steps to Prepare Your Vehicle Beforehand

As you gear up for your summer road trip, it’s essential to get your vehicle ready too. Here are seven crucial steps to prepare your car:

1. Keep Your Oil Levels Up

First and foremost, refill your car’s oil before hitting the road. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s crucial and easy to forget. Your engine needs oil to run smoothly and prevent overheating.

If the oil level runs low or dry, it can cause severe damage. So take a few minutes to check your oil level and top it off if necessary. Your car (and your wallet) will be grateful!

2. Check Your Tire Pressure

Another critical step is checking your tire pressure. Your tires must be in good condition to take on those miles of highway ahead.

Ensure they’re properly inflated and have no cracks or bulges that could cause a blowout on the road. Inflate all four tires to the recommended PSI for optimal safety and performance.

3. Monitor Fluid Levels

In addition to oil, several other fluids are required to keep your car running safely and efficiently. So check all major fluid levels, including brake fluid, coolant, power steering, and transmission fluid.

Inspect these fluid levels and top them off if needed. This will help prevent overheating and ensure your brakes work when you need them most.

4. Get Your Battery Checked

Nothing puts a damper on a fun vacation like a dead battery. Get it checked by a professional to ensure it can handle summer travel demands.

For example, high temperatures can weaken your battery and expedite the corrosion process, which may lead to starting problems. Checking it beforehand helps prevent unexpected roadside incidents.

5. Examine the Cooling System

It’s crucial to check your vehicle’s cooling system. As temperatures rise in summer, your car’s engine can quickly overheat. An overheated coolant system means you will be stopped in your tracks-not exactly great for a road trip.

Ensure that your coolant levels are topped off and that there are no leaks or cracks in the radiator or hoses. This simple step can prevent costly repairs down the road and keep you cool on hot days.

6. Don’t Forget About Your Lights

Give your lights some attention. With longer days, you may think about your headlights less. But they are still essential for nighttime driving and visibility during unexpected weather.

Check your exterior lights, including brake lights, turn signals, and high beams, to ensure they work correctly. It’s better to replace a bulb early than to be caught without functioning lights on the road.

7. Take a Look at the Wiper Blades

Take a moment to examine your wiper blades. Summer rain storms can come out of nowhere, and you want to ensure clear visibility on the road. Look for any signs of wear or damage on your windshield and replace them if needed.

Plan and Pack the Essentials

Preparing for a summer road trip is exciting. However, it’s vital to plan and pack the essentials for a safe and enjoyable journey.

Plan Your Journey Ahead

Before hitting the open road, make sure to plan out your route. Consider factors such as distance, traffic patterns, and weather conditions. This will help you avoid unexpected delays or hazards on the road. It’s also best to identify rest stops and gas stations along the way to ensure you remain on track and aware of the situation.

Pack an Emergency Roadside Kit

It’s always better to be safe than sorry! Preparedness prevents you from being caught off guard in case of an emergency. Consider packing an emergency kit that includes a first-aid kit, flashlights, blankets, and water bottles. Don’t forget to include essential tools like jumper cables, a lug wrench, a jack, and a spare tire.

Have a Map or Atlas on Hand

Embarking on a summer road trip and exploring new places is always exciting. Surely, you’re planning on using your phone for music, communication, and of course, navigation. But imagine getting lost in an unfamiliar area without any signal, or worse, losing your phone or breaking it. How will you find the next turn?

Well, a good old-fashioned map can be a savior in such situations. Having one in your glove box is not only smart, but also practical. As much as we love our digital navigation systems, they aren’t foolproof. Always bring a paper map or atlas as a backup.

Stock up on Snacks

Long car rides can be tiring and hunger-inducing, so packing plenty of snacks is crucial to keep you fueled and energized. Think of healthy options like nuts, fruit, granola bars, and treats like candy or chips.

It’s essential to balance healthy and indulgent options so everyone in the car can find something they enjoy. Besides, having snacks can save you time and money since you won’t need to stop for meals as often.

Ensure Safe and Defensive Driving

A summer road trip can be an exciting adventure for the whole family. That said, there are no shortcuts or compromises regarding safety. Here are some key points to ensure you arrive at your destination safely:

Drive During the Day

It can be tempting to drive late into the night or early in the morning to beat traffic or save time, but this is actually one of the most dangerous times to be on the road.

Although 25 percent of driving occurs at night time, that’s when 40 percent of crashes occur. In other words, you are much more likely to crash at night than during the day.

Fatigue sets in, and visibility decreases, increasing the risk of accidents. To avoid this, plan your route so that you have plenty of daylight hours for driving.

Refrain from Drowsy Driving

Even if you’ve gotten enough sleep the night before, long stretches of driving can still make you feel drowsy. If you feel tired while driving, pull over at a rest stop or gas station and take a break.

Get out of the car, stretch your legs, and breathe fresh air. You can also switch drivers or take turns behind the wheel to give each other breaks.

Avoid Drunk Driving

This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating. Never drink and drive – not even one beer or glass of wine. Not only is it illegal, but it’s also incredibly unsafe for you and other drivers on the road.

Alcohol impairs your judgment and slows your reaction time, making it much more dangerous to operate a vehicle. If you plan on drinking during your trip, make sure someone else takes the wheel.

Keep Away from Distracted Driving

Focus all your attention on the road ahead when driving. This means no texting, eating, grooming, or anything else that could take your eyes off the road.

To prevent distractions, put away electronic devices or other items that may cause you to lose focus while driving. Also, it’s best to pull over safely to make a call or send a message.

Curious to learn more about distracted driving and how it affects driver accidents and fatalities? Read here.

Get a Complimentary Car Check from Caliber Auto Care

Are you planning a summer road trip? Don’t forget to stop by Caliber Auto Care for a free car check. Our expert technicians will go above and beyond to ensure your car is in top shape, checking everything from oil levels to tire pressure and integrity.

At Caliber Auto Care, we believe in building trust with our customers through transparency and education. Our team will always be upfront about your car’s health and provide simple solutions and pricing options to help you make the best decision.

We’ll never try to sell you services or products you don’t need, and we’ll always explain any issues with your vehicle in a way that’s easy to understand. Your car is more than just a machine; it’s an integral part of your life. That’s why scheduling maintenance and repairs at Caliber Auto Care is easy and hassle-free.

So before you hit the open highway, make sure to check off everything on your car care checklist so that you can relax and enjoy a smooth ride.

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