Prepping Your Car and Tires For Your Summer Road Trip

Summer is the perfect time for setting out on a road trip. But before you go, make sure you heed this checklist so you can ensure your total safety on the roadways.

1.  Check Tires

Inspect all of your tires and make sure they are properly inflated. The same goes for your spare tire. Be on the lookout for cuts, gouges and sidewall bulges. Place a quarter upside down into the grooves to check on the state of the tire tread. If you can spot the top of George Washington’s head, new tires are in order.

It’s best to check tire pressure when the car is cool and has been idle for a while. Inflate as needed.

2.  Check the Brakes

While driving, listen for any grinding sounds or feel for any vibrations when applying the brakes. Take your car to a mechanic for an inspection. They’ll check the entire brake system for leaks, and ensure the pads, rotors, drums and shoes are in good shape.

3.  Test the Battery

Check your battery for tight cable connections and secure hardware. Your mechanic can determine remaining battery capacity. Many places do it for free.

4.  Top Off Fluids

Check fluid levels for your engine oil, coolant, and brake, power steering and transmission fluids. If you have to add fluids, use products recommended in the owner’s manual.

5.  Replace Wiper Blades/Replenish Windshield Fluid

Rubber wiper blades will deteriorate over time, causing streaks in your windshield during a rain storm. If it’s been a while since you replaced yours, do it now before your trip. Add fluid to the windshield washer reservoir and check the nozzles.

6.  Check Belts and Hoses

Inspect and replace your reinforced rubber drive belts (these power the engine water pump, alternator and air conditioning compressor) if you notice they are glazed, cracked or frayed. Even if you don’t see visible signs of wear, replace drive belts every 60,000 miles.

Next, check your radiator hoses, replacing any that look worn, brittle, bulging or soft. At the same time, check for leaks near hose clamps, the radiator and the water pump.

7.     Check the AC

Take a test drive and make sure the AC is running cool. If it’s blowing warm air, get it checked.  This is also a good time to have your cabin filter inspected and replaced.

8.  Replenish Emergency Kit Supplies

Keep a well-stocked emergency kit in your car for any eventuality, such as a flashlight and batteries, first aid supplies, water, non-perishable snacks (protein bars, nuts, etc.), battery cables, emergency flares, tool kit, gloves, duct tape and rags. You may also want to add a toiletries kit filled with saline solution and extra contacts, prescription medicine, diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, and the like.

Contact I&I Tires

Before you set out on your summer road trip, be sure to go over the above checklist. If you do encounter problems on the road, contact us right away in Atlanta at 678-284-2006 or Smyrna at 404-920-0278.