Preparing Your Car For A Road Trip!

June 22nd, 2016

Summer is here, and I think it’s safe to say we’re all ready to hit the road and take a little vacation! The question is, is your CAR ready? Here, we’re going to give you some tips and precautions to keep in mind before climbing into the good ol’ family car. If something goes wrong, it could turn your dream vacation into a nightmare. Make sure you plan a few weeks in advance to ensure you get all the necessary fixes taken care of.


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Remember all that talk we did about oil changes and tire rotations? Services like those are the first things you should consider before taking your car out on the road. Make sure your oil is nice and clean, and that your tires are in good shape. You can test the wear of your tires using the penny test; simply put a penny in one of the treads, with the top of Lincoln’s head facing down into the tire. If the tire is covering part of Lincoln’s head, then you should be good to go. If you can see all of his head, then this indicates uneven tire wear, and you might want to replace all of your tires if this is the case. Also check your tire pressure! We learned about that one, remember? This is especially important here because if your tires are under or over-inflated, you’re not going to have a smooth ride, and it can even be hazardous.

If you don’t consider yourself car-savvy, don’t fret. Take your car into your local shop and ask for an inspection. Mention that you want to take it on a road trip and they’ll make sure your car is running in top shape.

Whether you have aftermarket rims or OEM wheels, it would also be worth making sure they aren’t bent or cracked. If they are, it could damage your tires and put a halt to your trip. If you need help replacing – let’s say – your 2014 Honda Odyssey rims, you know who to call… right? (Hint: Us.!)



Once you have that taken care of, let’s move on to the outside portion of your vehicle. And we’re not talking about how “pretty” your car looks! We want to make sure all of your lights work properly: brake lights, high beams, blinkers, etc. If you happen to have a newer car that allows you to position the mirrors from the inside, check those as well. Once you’ve determined the “outside” of your car is fine, we’ll move on to the inside.


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It might be a good idea to wash and vacuum the seats and floor to make your fellow vacationers more comfortable. Of course, this isn’t necessary! An important step that you SHOULD take, however, is to see that your dashboard lights are all working properly. This includes any lights that might be on your radio buttons or shifter as well. Problems here could indicate something wrong with a fuse or any other electrical component.

Under the Hood/Car

Lift the hood of your vehicle and check out your belts and hoses. Make sure they aren’t cracked, torn, leaking, etc. Make sure that they are also fitting properly. For some vehicles, this is also where your battery is found. If you need to, replace your battery as well. Car batteries tend to have a lifespan of about 3-5 years.

Close your hood and check underneath your car; make sure no fluids such as coolant are leaking out.

Emergency Kit

I know. Nobody wants to think about the “what-ifs” of an emergency. But should something happen, you’ll feel better knowing you’re prepared. You can purchase an emergency roadside kit from an auto store, or you can make your own. Here’s a list of what your emergency kit should include – and remember, you can add more or less, depending on what you think you and your family needs:

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When packing, make sure you’re only packing what you need. Your car can handle a limited amount of weight, and if you check on the inside of your car where your driver door closes, or the owner’s manual, that weight will be specified. Making sure you travel lightly also puts less wear on your car, helping it to handle the rough roads even better.

And you’re off!

Once you’ve checked off all the fixes you need, both major and minor, then you can say that you’re officially ready to head to your destination! We hope you have fun and you drive safe; should something happen on the way and you need to replace your factory wheels, know that we have your back. One less bump in the road to worry about.


Come visit us while you’re in California,
– Kathy


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