How To Prepare Your Vehicle for a Summer Trip

May 30, 2022

If you want to ensure your summer trip goes smoothly, you need to prepare your vehicle to prevent the worst from happening. Are you planning a summer road trip? It could be a trip to the canyons or an adventure to the mountains. Perhaps you will lounge on the beach or even visit family and friends. Regardless, you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is in good condition, and your auto insurance is up to date.

Prepare Your Vehicle

Investing a little time and effort in summer trip vehicle prep can make your journey easier and prevent headaches on the road.

Checklist for Your Family

  • Look over your auto insurance policy. Ensure that you have enough coverage and that your vehicle and driver information is accurate and complete.
  • Inspect child seats and pet carriers for any damage or safety issues and replace them if necessary. Check for car seat recalls as well.
  • Clean out your vehicle. Unneeded items add extra weight that reduces your gas mileage, and a grimy interior makes for a less pleasant trip. Clean the windshield to improve visibility.
  • Replenish your emergency kit. In addition to the standard supplies (first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, snacks and water, flares, jumper cables, and tools for basic repairs), consider whether you need more personalized items such as child- or pet-care supplies an extra pair of eyeglasses.

Checklist For Your Vehicle

  • Take a test drive. Eliminate distractions such as music and focus solely on your vehicle’s performance so you can spot any potential problems. Pay special attention to the brakes and schedule repairs promptly if you notice any vibration or grinding noises.
  • Refill windshield cleaner, engine oil, coolant, and transmission and brake fluids if needed.
  • Replace damaged or worn-out windshield wiper blades.
  • Check your oil life and change the oil if necessary.
  • Inspect belts and hoses for damage and leaks. Replace cracked or worn drive belts and brittle or bulging radiator hoses.
  • Check tire pressure and condition. Measure air pressure when tires are cold and refill them to the recommended pressure listed in the owner’s manual. Look for cuts and uneven inflation in the sidewalls and measure wear by slipping a quarter into the treads. Replace the tire if the top of George Washington’s head isn’t covered. Don’t forget to inspect the spare tire.
  • Inspect the battery for corrosion and loose cable connections. Consider scheduling a professional battery check as well.
  • Replace your cabin air filter if it’s been in use for more than 15,000 miles or if you’ve noticed reduced air-conditioning flow or lingering odors.
  • Test turn signals and headlights. If the headlights are too dim, you may be able to fix the problem by cleaning or replacing the lenses, or you may need to replace the bulbs or repair the circuit.
  • If you’re not mechanically inclined, don’t hesitate to schedule a professional inspection by a trustworthy mechanic.

About Brooks, Todd & McNeil

Since 1839, the independent agents at Brooks, Todd & McNeil have been pleased to offer our community the best and most affordable policies from a variety of providers. Our dedicated facilitators are ready to put their 75 years of combined experience to work on your claims. To learn more about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 448-4567.