The hot weather is here, and you’re revved up to get away from it all but is your car able to make the journey with you? What can wreak havoc on a road trip vacay? Being stranded in your vehicle in a place far from home can definitely put the kibosh on what would have been fun vacation plans. Just a pre-trip check on your vehicle could save a hard-earned vacation from being completely ruined. Here are some tips that will help safeguard that much-anticipated road trip from crashing!

  • Make sure your oil change is up to date. Oil serves lots of essential functions in a vehicle, and clean oil performs these jobs better than dirty oil. Changing your oil as per your vehicle owner’s manual recommendations is quite a cheap insurance policy against nightmarish repairs down the line.
  • If whatever is under your car’s hood is a mystery to you, then have a reliable mechanic give your vehicle the once-over before you go road tripping. A mechanic can check your hoses for any wear and tear, fluid levels (brake, steering wheel, transmission, radiator coolant) and fuses. While you’re at it, have your tires inspected as well. Low tire pressure can waste gas and causes premature wear out, in addition, this can make maneuvering your car, a more difficult task. Double check your spare tire as well, make sure it’s in good shape.
  • Checking the lights on a vehicle is a simple task that many folks fail to do. Make sure your headlights are in working order, along with your brake, yield and cabin lights.
  • Your car’s battery is like its heart, and without it, nothing will have the power to start moving or do much of anything else. Is your battery on its way out? If so, be sure to replace it before you go!
  • Torrential downpours can come with short warning especially in the summer, so make sure your wiper blades are in tip-top working order. Don’t forget to check the fluid reservoir for your blades, so that you can easily wipe away the countless bug hits you’ll accumulate on your windshield while on the road.
  • If you have not cleaned out your car since the year of the flood, it’s time to do so before you head out on your trip. Vacuum, wipe down, sanitize your car’s interior, failing to do so, only encourages organisms like mold to grow and make you and your loved ones sick.
  • Don’t forget to put together a prepackaged car emergency kit (for ‘just n case’ situations) that should include your car’s owner’s manual, first-aid kit, utility gloves, duct tape, flashlight, jumper battery cables, extra fuses, small toolbox, blanket, candy/nutrition bars, cell phone charger, drinking water, reflective warning triangles and rain ponchos.

Once you’ve taken the proper steps to prepare for your road trip, you should be able to survive the long journey and enjoy every mile it takes to get you to your desired final destination.