We’ve written before about what you have to do to cover up your car for the winter, but what about the opposite: getting said to stretch her legs on the summer’s open road? A road trip is one of the most classic things you can do during the summer, but going out without a full car inspection is foolish at best, dangerous at worst. Don’t be “that person” and check over your car before you go, and make sure you’re never writing into a comedy site about how you were stuck by the side of Route 66 for days on end. But instead of poring over countless articles, here’s a handy little list of the top X things you should take a look at.
Without fluids, your car just won’t run. Or it might for a little bit, but then it’ll overheat and die. The point is, you want to make sure your fluids are topped up nicely and looking clean, so check for:
Without properly working brakes, well, you know very well what the consequences could be. It’s just not worth it to take a chance on shoddy breaks, no matter how far you’re travelling. And if you’re still unconvinced, just picture this scenario: you’re hurdling down a backroad highway at too many miles per hour when a deer suddenly leaps in front of you. And because deer are short, you can’t hit them at the legs like you can with moose, so you’re only option is to stop as suddenly as possible — except you can’t, because you’re breaks aren’t in top condition. Don’t let this happen to you and get them checked over before you leave.
Just like your brakes, tires are crucial to your car’s good health. They’re your only points of contact with the ground and while you can’t rely 100% on road conditions, you can do something about your tires. If they’re bare, cracked or worn, consider investing in a new set. After all, you’ll be putting hundreds of miles on them and it’s only fair to give yourself the best chance possible of being safe. But if you can’t swing a new full set, at least carry a spare with you, and tools to change it. At the very least, check the air pressure.
Your battery’s one of the more reliable parts of your car…until it isn’t. Unless you’re testing it regularly, you’re probably not very aware of it slowly dying until one day, your car won’t turn over and it’s because of a dead battery. Another common cause is leaving the car on and draining the battery that way, and you definitely don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere if that happens. A spare battery, though, is generally not the kind of thing people carry around with them, but a pair of jumper cables is.