The unofficial season of road trips has finally arrived! While they are a great way to see the country and explore, road trips can mean unexpected surprises, varying road conditions and lots of miles on your car in a short amount of time. Whether you are planning a quick weekend trip or a cross-country trek, it is important to make sure your car is up to the task *before* you hit the road.

If your car breaks down or has major issues while you’re out of town, you could end up spending an arm and a leg on expensive repairs just to make it back home. Here are a few things you should check before you embark on any summertime journey:

Start with a quick test drive. Feel for any vibrations or tracking issues as you drive – this could be a sign that you need your wheels balanced, tires rotated or an alignment. You should also check that your tires have enough tread. Low tread makes tires more prone to flats – and a flat tire while you’re on a road trip could mean driving many miles on a spare until you get to the next town.

Make sure to check your fluids before departing on your trip and replenish as needed. If your levels are low, it could be a sign of a leak. Ignoring a leak could result in contaminants getting into the system, setting you up for costly repairs down the line.

If your car is due for an oil change or will be while you are on the road, have it done before you leave. You may also need to replace dirty air filters – though this might seem less important, clean filters will mean better fuel economy which can save you a decent amount of money on long car trips!

Make sure that your brakes and transmission have been inspected in the last six months. A mid-trip problem with these vital components could mean being stranded by the side of the road and searching for an auto repair shop in an unfamiliar area. To avoid this headache, get a quick inspection from an ASE-certified technician to ensure there are no problems.

Another easy thing to check before you leave is the wiper blades and washer fluid, especially if your trip involves many hours on the interstate. You’ll definitely want to be able to wash away the dead bugs your windshield collects on the road as easily as possible!

Review your maintenance schedule before you leave to make sure your car is up-to-date with its preventative care. If your vehicle is going to be due for routine service while you are away, have it done before you leave.

Road trips are an exciting part of summertime – make sure your car is equipped to handle all the conditions the road may throw at it. Stop by our shop or call 920.757.5543 to schedule a pre-trip inspection for your vehicle!