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Preparing Your Car for Summer Road Trips

  • Preparing Your Car for Summer Road Trips

With Summer just around the corner it’s the perfect time for road trips, whether you're heading to the beach, the hills, or somewhere in between. Before you hit the road, it's essential to ensure that your car is ready for the journey. Proper preparation can help prevent breakdowns, improve fuel efficiency and ensure a safer, more enjoyable trip.

In this article, we'll discuss the key steps to prepare your car for summer road trips. NB: If you do have any problems with any of the steps highlighted below, we recommend having any issues addressed by a professional before your trip.


Check and Change Your Oil

Before embarking on a long road trip, check your oil level and condition. If it's due for a change, replace it with the recommended grade of oil for your vehicle. Clean oil helps keep your engine running smoothly and efficiently, especially during the hot summer months when the engine works harder.

Inspect and Rotate Tyres

Check your tyre pressure and adjust it to the manufacturer's recommended levels. Properly inflated tyres improve fuel economy, handling and tyre longevity. Also, inspect your tyres for any signs of uneven wear, damage, or insufficient tread depth. If necessary, rotate your tyres to help even wear and consider replacing them if they're worn out.


Test Your Battery

High temperatures can put extra strain on your car's battery. Have your battery tested to ensure it's holding a proper charge and replace it if needed. Clean any corrosion from the battery terminals and ensure the connections are tight.


Check Belts and Hoses

Inspect your car's belts and hoses for any signs of wear, cracks, or fraying. High temperatures can cause these components to deteriorate more quickly, leading to potential engine problems. Replace any damaged belts or hoses before your trip.


Inspect Brakes

Check your brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid level. If your brakes are squealing, grinding, or feeling spongy, have them inspected by a professional. Properly functioning brakes are crucial for safe driving, especially in unfamiliar areas or heavy traffic.


Top Up Fluids

Check and top up all your car's fluids, including coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Proper fluid levels help keep your car running smoothly and prevent damage to various systems.


Replace Wiper Blades

Summer rain showers can be sudden and intense. Replace your wiper blades if they're worn or streaking to ensure clear visibility during inclement weather.


Check Air Conditioning

Test your car's air conditioning system to ensure it's working properly. A malfunctioning A/C can make summer driving uncomfortable and lead to engine overheating.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Assemble an emergency kit to keep in your car during your road trip. Include items such jack, wheel wrench, jumper cables, flashlight, extra batteries, first-aid kit, water, and snacks. Also, consider packing a car charger for your phone, a physical map in case of GPS failure and a basic tool kit.


Plan Your Route and Stops

Before setting off, plan your route and potential stops. Identify petrol stations, rest areas, and points of interest along the way. Having a plan can help you avoid getting lost or running out of fuel in unfamiliar areas.


Clean and Organise Your Car

Give your car a thorough cleaning inside and out before your trip. A clean car not only makes for a more pleasant journey but also allows you to organise and pack your belongings more efficiently.


Don't Overload Your Vehicle

Be mindful of your car's weight capacity when packing for your trip. Overloading your vehicle can put extra strain on your engine, tyres and suspension, leading to decreased fuel efficiency and potential damage. Distribute weight evenly and securely to maintain proper vehicle balance.

By following these steps to prepare your car for summer road trips, you can minimise the risk of breakdowns, and ensure a safer journey. Regular maintenance and attention to detail will help keep your car running smoothly, allowing you to focus on making unforgettable summer memories on the open road.

Remember, if you're unsure about any aspect of your car's maintenance or need assistance with repairs, consult a trusted mechanic before your trip. They can provide expert advice and ensure your vehicle is in top condition for your summer adventures.

In addition to preparing your car, don't forget to take care of yourself during your road trip. Stay hydrated, take breaks to stretch and rest and share driving responsibilities with other passengers when possible. By taking care of both your vehicle and yourself, you'll be well on your way to a fantastic summer road trip experience. Happy and safe travels!