Avoiding a Road Trip Rescue: How to Prepare Your Car for Summer’s Last Blast
Whether you’re hitting the road to enjoy those last few warm days of summer, to celebrate a long weekend or even gearing up for a trip to watch the autumn leaves change color, September is prime time for road trips. With gas prices remaining low, hitting the road is more affordable than ever. But all that low-cost driving can take a toll on our cars.
While there’s no way to be prepared for every roadside need that might arise, there are some steps you should take to keep your ride comfortable and ensure you’re ready in roadside emergency.
Get your car checked out before hitting the road. Life is hectic. Are you certain that your oil doesn’t need to be changed or that you have enough wiper fluid if you get caught on a dusty back road? Give yourself a full week before the big trip to get your car inspected in case there are any issues. Your mechanic at Christian Brothers Automotive Shawnee can very quickly do the work for you, checking your tire pressure, fluids and general mechanics of your car.
Take some time to check on the amenities in your car as well. Does your air conditioning and heating work properly? How about your USB connection to play music or charge your phone? Taking a few extra minutes to make sure you’ll be comfortable can make all the difference out on the road.
Bring the essentials, and non-essentials, in case of emergency. When you’re on the road, things can be unpredictable, so make sure you’ve packed all the emergency items you could need. Below is a basic list of things you should always keep in your car:
- AAA Membership Card:
If you have a AAA membership, be sure to have your AAA membership card packed in your wallet. AAA gives you the peace of mind that if you have car troubles, you will be towed to an authorized AAA auto repair facility free of charge. Forgot to stop for gas or lock your keys in your car? AAA is there to help you out of any tricky situation and best part is, that is all included as part of your membership. For more information about AAA, go to www.autoclubmo.aaa.com
- Tire gauge: Good tiresare expensive, and worth caring for. If you have a pressure gauge, it's easy to accurately check your tires before a long trip to ensure they’re ready to handle the long road ahead. Many newer vehicles come with TPMS sensors, which tell you when the tire air pressure needs to be checked. If you check the air pressure and it is correct, you may have a faulty TPMS sensor.
- Lug wrench: A spare tire won't do much good if you can't get the lug nuts off the flat tire. But the lug wrenches that come with many cars aren't big enough. Carry a full-sized wrench, sold at most discount stores or auto parts stores. If your vehicle has locking lug nuts, make sure you have the lug nut key in the vehicle.
- Jumper cables: It's amazing how often jumper cables seem to come in handy, if not for yourself, then for a stranded friend or stranger. Be sure you carry a pair of high-capacity cables in your vehicle.
- First aid kit: You never know when an emergency situation could arise. Making sure you have a good first aid kit including bottled water, a radio, a blanket and some snacks is always a wise idea.
Autumn road trips are a great way to close out the warm season before winter hits. If you prepare properly, fun and adventure won’t be delayed or hindered by your ride.
Planning a road tip soon? Schedule your complimentary road trip check today!