Most drivers understand the dangers that lurk with winter driving, but summertime has plenty of risks too, as the busiest driving time of the year. As the nation opens up again, travelers are expected to forego flying and drive to their summer destinations instead.
As drivers set out on their road trips, preparing the car for sweltering temperatures and long trips requires more preparation than just taking the winter tires off. You may be faced with stop-and-go traffic, construction delays, accidents and oversized car loads.
It’s important to ensure that your car is in good working condition because nothing spoils a summer holiday more than getting stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.
Considering that your car may be traveling several hours a day at a high cruising speed with the air conditioner blasting, it’s plain to see why preparation is key to summer driving survival.
Car Checklist for a Summer Road Trip
1. Check your Tires
After the brutal winter conditions many people experience, ensure your tire pressure is accurate because severe cold upsets the balance. Properly inflated tires help you to save money because the correct pressure improves fuel economy.
With the right amount of air in your tires, your car will be ready for emergency maneuvers and keep you and your family safe.
Check your tire pressure when the tires are cool, and make sure that your spare tire is properly inflated.
Keep a jack in the car just in case of a flat. If you notice any unusual wear on the tires, check with a tire expert to determine your best options before hitting the road.
2. Check the Coolant
Of all the problems that can go wrong with your car during the summertime driving season, coolant problems rank number one for a car breaking down. Many common cooling issues result from insufficient airflow near the radiator and this causes the car’s engine to overheat.
Debris gets lodged in the radiator and the objects must be cleaned out. Getting stuck in summer traffic or road construction strains the cooling system.
Thus, the cooling system should be flushed every twenty-four months and then routinely checked. A good rule to follow is a mixture of half water and half antifreeze.
If the car does overheat, wait until the radiator cap has cooled down before trying to remove it because the cap is scolding hot.
3. Examine your air conditioning
A fully functional air conditioning system is an absolute necessity while driving during hot summer. When this system has a failure, it can turn the car into an oven in a short amount of time and make any drive a very uncomfortable experience.
Air conditioning problems can occur for several reasons, such as no coolant, the air conditioning compressor wearing out, a broken thermostat, or blockages in the air vents.
Even though air conditioning can reduce fuel economy by about twenty-five percent, you want to be with it during a lengthy trip in very hot or humid weather.
4. Check the condition of your Brakes
Regardless of your driving season, you should always have brakes in good working order because brakes are your car's most important safety feature.
Properly maintained brakes can make all the difference in adjusting to slick road conditions so that you can slow down or come to a sudden stop.
Before you start out on your trip this summer, you should have the brake pads and brake shoes inspected by a certified brake specialist.
An ounce of prevention can prevent costly brake repairs from happening during your vacation if they’re fixed in a timely manner beforehand.
5. Make sure you have working Windshield Wipers
As many drivers know, summertime is notorious for experiencing sudden and violent thunderstorms that result in a deluge of water beating against your car’s windshield.
You need to have a set of windshield wipers that can effectively disperse the water so that you can see. It’s even more important at night because the pounding rain can dramatically decrease visibility to only fifteen or twenty feet in front of your vehicle.
Check if your front and back wiper blades are in good shape. If they are showing signs of wear, you should replace them.
Ensure that your washer fluid container is always filled since you will routinely use the wipers to wash away dust, grime, and dead bugs on the glass.
6. Never forget to check your Oil
Oil has been called the lifeblood of your vehicle because it keeps your car’s hardworking engine parts running clean, smooth, and cool. While some newer vehicles can run longer between oil changes, it is recommended that you change your oil every three months or 3,000 miles to keep your engine running in tip-top shape, especially in hot climates.
If you plan on doing some heavy driving during the summer months, your engine will be working harder and it’s more prone to overheating.
Check your oil level before you head out on the family trip, and check it routinely along the way.
Tip: Save $46 on your Oil Change when you add it to your Brake Service - Nubrakes
Have a Great Time!
Summer is here, and so is the urge to hit the road and explore! With gas prices at a low, it's the perfect time to pack up your car and set off on an adventure. But hold up, before you take off, it's important to make sure your car is ready to handle the summer heat and all the miles you're about to put on it.
Don't worry, we've got you covered with these essential car safety tips that will help you have a safe and fun-filled road trip with your loved ones. No more getting stranded at the nearest garage with costly repairs!
And speaking of repairs, we have the perfect solution if you need brake repairs. NuBrakes offers top-rated, affordable mobile brake services in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio! So you can get your brakes fixed without leaving the comfort of your home.
How cool is that?
So, buckle up and prepare for an unforgettable adventure, knowing that your car is in tip-top shape and you have NuBrakes by your side in case of brake emergencies.