It’s officially summer road trip season, which means it’s time to pack your bags, pick a destination on the map and go.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, while nearly 9 in 10 American travelers have plans to travel in the next six months, it won’t be overseas.
With cities starting to loosen travel restrictions and more parks reopening, this summer offers the perfect opportunity to visit places you’ve always wanted to see and the people you’ve missed the most.
As you get ready to pile into your car, there are a few things you should check to make sure your vehicle is ready to face both the miles and the elements.
Automotive DIY experts Emily Reeves and ChrisFix recommend these tips before you step on the gas.
Check your oil. Motor oil is the lifeblood of your car – it keeps your engine running smoothly and reduces wear and tear caused by the open road.
For those driving older cars, it could be the determining factor between keeping your engine intact or a costly trip to the repair shop.
Make sure you have the correct level of oil and that it’s fresh. Your vehicle should have a dipstick to help check the level, and the owner’s manual should contain details on when it’s time to change it.
Keep your engine cool. Coolant is crucial to keeping your car cool during your trip. It prevents your engine from overheating and protects it from the extreme temperatures that come with operating your vehicle.
This includes extended time on hot pavement or stop-and-go traffic when passing through bigger cities.
Also, when using your air conditioning, you are putting extra strain on the cooling system, so making sure it is in good shape is important to keep you cool as well.
“I recommend PEAK 10x Antifreeze & Coolant as it not only helps keep your engine from overheating but also has addictive properties that help keep your coolant system healthy,” Reeves said. “Based on extensive research and development, the product has been developed to ensure it protects from the elements while also flushing out any residue from previous use.”
Kick your tires. Make sure your tires have tread and appropriate air pressure. If they’re too low it, could create the drag, which decreases fuel mileage and can wear the tires out.
Also, be sure to check the air pressure in your spare.
Keep the bugs and rain away. It’s important to ensure you have enough washer fluid and your windshield wiper blades are intact should you drive into a swarm of bugs or a surprise torrential rainstorm.
“Maintaining clear visibility is extremely important when driving, whether it be keeping your windows clean or being able to see the road through rain,” ChrisFix said. “Keep your eyes on the road by using PEAK’s +32 BugCleaner Windshield Wash or +32 Summer Windshield Wash to help remove bugs and dirt from the glass.”
Pack the essentials. Should the worst situation arise and you need an immediate fix, having car care essentials on hand is a time and money saver.
Packing extra washer fluid, coolant, a portable toolbox, tire patching solutions, and a first aid kit can help avoid an emergency. While it can be a little costly upfront, a small jump starter kit earns its dividends should you stall out.
For additional insights on how to maximize your car’s potential, visit peakauto.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (father and son working on a car).