Is Your Car Ready for Summer Travel?

Do you have exciting travel plans for the summer? So do many other vehicle owners who plan to take cross-country journeys in the comfort of their cars and trucks. Is your ride ready for what might be the hottest summer of the decade? If it’s not, or if you’re not sure, check out the suggestions below about bringing your wheeled machine up to snuff for summers on the open road.

Tires

When you hear the expression that includes where the rubber meets the road, there’s a good reason why tires should be the first thing you check before taking your car for a long jaunt. Remember to inspect all five, and if you’re not sure how to evaluate tire health, ask your friendly tire store clerk for help. In addition to making sure all four tires, plus the spare, are travel ready, don’t forget to adjust each one to the proper air pressure level. Also do an inventory of tire changing tools like jacks, lug wrenches, and pry bars.

Windows

Part of your pre-trip checklist should be checking the status of tint. Even the best products have a tendency to crack and peel over time. You can review an online guide on how to remove old tint before putting a fresh coat back on. In fact, removing old window tint the right way will make applying the new stuff that much easier. Tint is not just a cosmetic product. It keeps your car’s interior cool on hot days and adds to the general comfort level.

A/C and Electrical Systems

No one wants to be stranded on a hot stretch of road in the sun with an air conditioner that is out of whack. Visit your favorite mechanic and have the electrical system checked out, as well as the freon levels in the AC. Tell them you’re getting ready to take a summer trip. Many shops offer a low-cost summer check-up inspection that covers all the bases, including AC, electrical, and other vital components.

The Battery

Hot weather eats batteries, as anyone who lives in the desert Southwest knows. Before any summer trip, take your car to a local auto parts shop and ask them to test your battery. Most won’t charge a dime for the service, and it only takes a minute. If the battery is in anything but excellent condition, have it charged or consider buying a new one.

The Two Cooler Method

No matter how much pre-trip planning you do, there’s a chance that you and your crew (family or friends) could get stranded in the middle of nowhere under the hot summer sun. Of course, there are many precautions to take, like having an emergency phone and charger at the ready. But your physical health is the number one priority, and that means having plenty of drinking water on hand. Do what smart hot weather travelers do, and pack two coolers with cold, gallon jugs of water for emergencies. Consider placing a large one in the trunk with at least four gallons of cold water and ice. Keep another, smaller cooler in the cab of the vehicle for easy access.