Summer is travel time. People hit the road right after Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. Many families drive to their destinations instead of flying. Not only is driving cheaper but it also opens up opportunities to see some beautiful scenery and landmarks along the way. Before you start your long drive for summer, however, it is important to prepare the car for the trip.
Visit an auto repair shop before venturing out. The professionals can help ensure that all aspects of your car are functioning properly. In addition, here are some things you can do to make sure that you travel safely and efficiently.
- Grab an emergency kit – You never know when and where you will have a breakdown as you travel. An emergency kit, which you can stow in the trunk of your car, contains the essentials that you will need in the event that you have car problems, especially at night. The kit should have flares, flashlight, rags, oil, extra spark plugs, and other basic items for maintenance.
- Get a fluid inspection – Have your fluids checked, including antifreeze, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid. Take extra fluids in your trunk for your trip just in case.
- Check your tires and brakes – Check your tires for proper air pressure and tread wear. Ensure that your brake system is working properly.
- Read your owner’s manual – Your manual will educate you on the proper handling of your car in different situations.
- Don’t overload your car – When you travel with a family, there’s a lot of gear involved, but don’t overload your car beyond its capacity.
- Make your car pet-friendly – If you are taking a pet on your trip, make sure that the pet is properly secured in a crate. Make sure you have plenty of pet food and water.
- Go for a test drive – If you have not driven your car on the highway lately, take it for a test drive to make sure it performs well at high speeds. Watch out for vibrations and unusual noises, which you should report to the mechanic immediately.
- Have a plan B – Though no one wants an emergency to shut down a family vacation, things happen. Expect the unexpected, and think of alternate plans just in case your original ideas get interrupted. As you are driving, keep the phone number of a towing company or rental car service handy just in case.
Wherever you live in Utah, there are honest, reputable service centers to get you ready for your summer adventures. If you live near the state’s capital, visit a Salt Lake City tire shop for all of your tire and wheel needs. For those in Summit County, try one of the reputable Park City auto repair shops for overall car service before a vacation.