Plan Ahead: Tips to Prepare Your Car for Summer Road Trips

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Road Trips

Summer is an excellent opportunity to take some vacation time and hit the road for parts unknown. Road trips allow people to explore their region and get off the beaten track more easily. However, before you start packing up, you need to ensure your car is up to the challenges ahead; here as some tips for preparing it for long journeys. 

Check the Battery

A weak battery that dies means your car will come to a standstill. It costs far less to check on your battery and replace it if it is on its last legs than breakdown somewhere and have to call for a tow and still have to buy a new battery anyway. You can have your mechanic perform a battery check if in doubt and ensure it is in good standing. 

Check Fluids

Check your engine oil, brake fluid, coolant, transmission, and power steering fluid and ensure they are at the correct levels. If you need to replace or top-up, choose reputable brands. 

Practice a Tire Change

A flat tire can happen anywhere and at any time. You cannot always rely on the kindness of strangers when in a situation. You need to get the technique right. You can use an online tutorial to learn how to loosen the lug nuts, how to position the jack correctly and raise the vehicle before taking off the wheel. A practice run will also ensure you have all the equipment needed for this task and remind you to check the air pressure in the spare tire is good. You may also take this opportunity to rotate your wheels if you have not in a while. Doing so is good for ensuring the tires are more evenly worn. 

Check the Tread

While checking on your tires, be sure also to examine the tread. If you have an uneven wear pattern, this may indicate that the tires are not correctly aligned. This can be dangerous when driving in wet conditions and at high speeds when you need them to have a good grip to move smoothly. You may need to visit a service station to have your wheels balanced and if the tread is worn, purchase new ones. Also, have them check your tire pressure to ensure it is suited to the weather and the road conditions you will experience. 

Change Your Wipers 

People often only change wipers when they realize they are not doing their job right. Even in summer, you can experience unexpected showers, so ensure your wipers will be able to keep your view unobstructed. An inability to properly clean your windscreen can be dangerous. Since this rubber deteriorates so quickly, chances are it is time to make a replacement.

 Prepare an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit should include all the tools you need to change a tire. It also should have a spare mobile phone, drinking water, snacks, a blanket, rechargeable battery pack, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, flares, a fire extinguisher, and reflective warning triangles. Anything you will need in case your car breaks down, and you are far from help.

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