Summer is here, and if you’re like most Minnesotans, you’re ready to plan some summer fun. From weekend trips to the cabin to picnics in the park, summer is a time to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. Summer is also a great time to plan that family road trip. Before you pack up the car and stock up on those road trip snacks, it’s also a good idea to get your car road trip ready. If you’re ready to check getting your car ready off that to-do list, then keep reading for our 6 ways to get your car road trip ready.

Tires

Your tires are what makes this whole trip roll – literally. But improperly inflated tires can cause stress to your engine, add unnecessary wear and tear on your brakes & suspension, and uneven wear & tear to your treads. In addition, improper inflation can make your tires susceptible to blow outs and decrease your fuel economy by 1%. Check your tire pressure and make sure they are filled to the manufacturer’s recommendation. And while you’re thinking about your tires, it’s a good idea to have them rotated. For cars with front wheel or rear wheel drive, rotating your tires will help them wear more evenly – and should be performed every 5,000-8,000 miles.

Belts and hoses

Your belts and hoses are critical to keeping your electrical, power steering, and cooling systems functioning. Ask your mechanic to inspect them to determine if they are frayed or cracked. You’ll also want to verify that your belts are tightly installed and don’t have a large amount of slack.  When it comes to your hoses, you’ll want to inspect for any leaks or drips. Left unattended, broken belts or hoses can leave you with a breakdown on the side of the road – which stops the fun of any road trip.

Brake check before your road trip

Your brakes are essential to your family’s safety on your road trip so it’s a good idea to have them inspected before you hit the road. Some warning signs that your brakes need some attention include: squealing noises which indicate worn brake pads, a spongy brake pedal, pulling to one side while braking, and a shaking brake pedal. If you notice any of these signs or it’s been a while since your mechanic has taken a peek, then it’s a good idea to take your car in and ask for an inspection.

Lights

You’ll also want to check your interior and exterior lights to make sure they are working properly. Be sure to replace any burned out bulbs and to make sure your tail lights and turn signals are in working order. While you’re checking the outside of the car, it’s a good idea to check your windshield wiper blades in case you run into any summer rain storms. Most car manufacturers recommend getting a new pair every 6 months, so if it’s been a while since you’ve replaced them – now is the perfect time to get it done.

Air conditioning system

With the dog days of summer approaching, no one wants to be on a long road trip when your AC system is not working. Ask your mechanic to do an AC system check. While you’re there, now is also the perfect time to replace your cabin air filter. This air filter keeps allergens, pollutants, and mold out of the inside of your car to keep your breathing clean air. Some signs you need an AC check include: an AC that’s not blowing as cold as it used to, a musty smell inside your car, and poor air flow.

Top off your fluids before a road trip

One last thing to check is to fill your fluids to the appropriate levels. You can start with having your oil changed to make sure your car is ready to go. After that, check the following fluid levels: power steering, transmission, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid.

Once you’ve checked off these 6 items to get your car ready for that road trip, you’re ready to go. And if you need some help getting your car road trip ready, we’re ready to help. Simply give us a call for an appointment, and our team will get your car ready for that road trip in no time.