Summer is ideal for a car road trip — exploring new parts of your community, family vacations, visiting relatives and sightseeing.
But if you don’t take care of your car or aren’t aware of some of the extra issues you can encounter in summer you may be unable to take that spur-of-the-moment trip. Worse, you could be stuck somewhere needing a tow truck company’s service.
Despite being a beast of a machine, designed to travel in all kinds of weather and to protect you from the elements, your car can be vulnerable to heat. Imagine yourself on an August summer day, car packed, family all set for the annual getaway, and halfway through the mountains, your car dies.
Not only are you stuck waiting for someone to reach you, but you’re also likely in a tricky location with nowhere else to go.
Especially when it’s overworked, like climbing a mountain road, there’s potential for your car to over. Make sure your vehicle’s fluids, including oil and coolant, are always at proper levels.
Watch the temperature gauge for early signs you may need to pull over to let the engine cool off. It can ensure you reach your destination.
Winter weather can play havoc on your battery. Heat can do the same. It’s a good idea, especially before you begin a long trip, to get your battery tested.
While we may hate snow cover, one advantage is the protection you can provide your tires from road debris. Sharp rocks, nails or other road garbage can change a road trip into a tire-changing exercise.
While hitting an unseen object is unavoidable, check your tires when you park your vehicle for the night and before leaving the next day. Tires are designed to avoid the blowouts, but a slow leak could prove problematic.
Summer heat can also help push an old or failing tire to its demise. As heat increases, the pressure inside the tire, faults, cracks and other issues becomes more critical. Regularly inspecting tires for these issues, or having them checked by a professional when you have an oil change done, can help identify small issues before they become bigger problems.
It’s seemingly inevitable your car’s air conditioning will fail during the summer’s hottest weather. If it happens when you’re touring around a city, it will likely be easy to find a repair business. But if your air conditioning fails in a remote, if can dampen or ruin the journey. It’s one more reason why a pre-trip inspection and preventative maintenance is worth the effort and cost.
Summer is the ideal time for carefree road trips. If you properly maintain your car and know how to prepare for the unexpected, the open highway and your imagination can take you to many places. Drive safely.