Summer Roadtrip Checklist

May 23, 2012

Summer Roadtrip

Summer is just around the corner.

One of the most popular vacation options for families of all sizes is to take a roadtrip to another part of the country. While the idea of a road trip may bring to mind great family times in the car, seeing new sights or visiting family and friends, it can also lead to hours sitting on the side of the road waiting for help after the car breaks down. There are some steps that you can take in order to prevent your road trip from becoming a “side of the road” trip.

• Check Your Tires. Before heading out on the freeway, check all four tires for wear and proper inflation. Not only does low tire pressure effect how much gas you need, but it can also lead to too much friction between the road surface and the tire, causing a blowout. The best place to find information on your car’s tire inflation levels is either on the driver’s side door or in the manual. Also, check for badly worn tires or bubbles in the sidewalls. If you find they are worn, it is better to get them replaced by an auto shop before the trip.

• Consider an Oil Change. Before heading out to drive hundreds or even thousands of miles, consider getting an oil change. Having fresh oil in the system prevents engine damage and overheating while you are driving. Any complete car care center can assist you with making sure that you have the right type of clean oil in your car’s engine before you leave.

• Look at Fluid Levels. Oil and gas are not the only fluids that your car uses to run. Other types of fluids – from window washing fluid, to transmission fluid, brake fluid and radiator fluid – should be checked and topped off before pulling out of the driveway. If you don’t feel confident that you can double check these on your own, a Cleveland auto repair shop can easily help you determine if everything is topped off and at optimal levels.

• Go For a Drive. One of the last steps before setting out on your summer journey is to take your car for a test drive. If you will be doing a lot of freeway driving, then testing it on the highway is the best method to make sure that it is ready to go. Listen for any strange noises, make sure the gauges are operating normally, and check for vibration in the steering. If you find anything abnormal, then make an appointment with a Cleveland or Strongsville auto repair shop to have the car checked.

As much fun as a summer vacation can be, it will be that much more so knowing that your car is ready to go. By taking a little time to change the oil, check the fluids, evaluate the tires and take it for a test drive, you will ensure that the memories you make with your family don’t involve sitting on the side of the road.