Get Your Car Ready For Your Summer Road Trip


Summer is here, and that means many people will be taking road trips for vacation. Before heading out, however, drivers should make sure their cars are in good working order. After all, the last thing someone wants when they’re out of town is to be broken down somewhere. Here are some tips from AARP to consider.

Start With a Visual Inspection

People can take care of some simple checks with the naked eye. Drivers should have a friend or family member take a look as they test their turn signals, headlights, brake lights, hazard lights, and high beams. They should also turn on the ignition with the other person present, having them stand in front of the car and then behind it in order to confirm everything is functioning.

Have the Battery Checked

Driver’s can usually tell if their vehicle’s battery terminals are corroded by checking them for a white-, green- or blue-tinged substance. They can also take their automobile in for a battery check to make sure it will function the way it is supposed to for the entire trip and going forward as well.

Test the Brakes

Car owners should have their brakes inspected on a regular basis. They should also have them serviced immediately if they notice any signs of wear. This could be spongy brakes, screechy brakes, an indicator light, or other sign. When a motorist does not address a brake problem promptly it can be dangerous, lead to costly repairs, and put a damper on a vacation.

Check the Tires

No one wants to end up on the side of the road with a flat tire, whether they are on vacation or simply running errands around town. Checking the tread on a car’s tires is important to minimize this risk. In addition, balding tires are more like to skid whereas tires with more tread are better at gripping the road. Drivers should definitely have their tires looked at before they leave town.

Top Off All Fluids

A vehicle has six essential fluids it needs in order to run smoothly: motor oil, radiator fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid and windshield washer fluid. Each of these fluids needs to be changed or refreshed on a regular basis. For instance, many cars need an oil change every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Drivers should check with their owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations for each of these fluids.

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Replace Air Filters

Air filters help protect a car’s engine and interior from becoming dirty and dusty. When the filters becoming clogged, the car’s performance can decrease. Drivers should check their owner’s manual for recommendations on when their filters need to be replaced.

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