End-of-Summer Road-Trip Tips

summer_road_trip_TS.jpg Thinkstock image

Before you round up your friends and family for that final summer road trip, make sure your car is prepared for the long haul. With hot and humid weather across the country, be sure to check off these must-dos before you hit the open road.

  • Check the air conditioning to make sure it’s working properly. A car full of hot, complaining passengers can make long-distance travel extra tedious. Take a spin around town before your vacation to make sure it’s ice cold; get it checked out if it’s not.
  • Check the cooling system to ensure your car won’t overheat. AAA says the cooling system should be flushed and refilled every 24 months but the level, condition and concentration of the coolant should be checked more frequently.
  • Check the air pressure of your tires. Properly inflated tires help you get better fuel economy and reduce the chance of heat buildup in the tires, which can occur when they’re underinflated. The recommended tire pressure for your car should be listed on a sticker or plate on the driver’s doorjamb.
  • Use sunshades to protect upholstery and young passengers. The sun’s harsh rays can weaken and dull your car’s interior materials. Dashboard sun deflectors help keep the steering wheel, controls and seatbelts from getting too hot while cling sunshades for the side windows give little ones some shade for the long drive.
  • Roll down the windows when you’re not cruising on the highway. You’ll improve your fuel efficiency if you keep cool the natural way on slower roads.
  • Schedule regular maintenance. According to AAA, making sure that belts, hoses, blades and tires are in good condition is integral to travel safety.

Simple car maintenance should be a priority to ensure your road trip goes smoothly. Once your car is in check, turn up your summer playlist, throw your bathing suit in the car and enjoy soaking up the last of the summer sun.

Latest expert reviews