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Is it cool to be prepared for potential emergencies and issues on the road? Common sense says “yes,” but your kids and friends might make fun of you for being overly ready. It’s good to put the old Scouting motto to work and “Be Prepared,” for something to happen when it’s time for your summer road trip.

Here are ten tips that can give you peace of mind while out on the road this summer.

1-7 Car Maintenance is key to your road trip

The first seven tips involve checking your car by completing proper maintenance before heading out. This means checking these seven items off your list or asking your local service center to check them.

  • Tires – Check the pressure, tread depth, and treadwear to ensure your tires are in good shape. Now might be a good time to rotate your tires as well. Don’t forget to check the spare tire as well.
  • Brakes – Are your brake pads and rotors in good shape? What is your brake fluid level? You might need a mechanic to check these before your summer road trip.
  • Oil and filter – Change your oil and filter before going on a road trip. Even if your vehicle doesn’t require this maintenance, changing it before subjecting it to many hours on the open road is a good idea.
  • Battery – If your battery dies, it could leave you stranded on the side of the road. Check for corrosion at the terminals and test the battery charge before embarking on your road trip.
  • Belts and hoses – Ask your local mechanic to check your vehicle’s belts and hoses to ensure there isn’t any sign of wear or tear in them. You’re about to put your car through a harsh summer road trip; don’t allow these parts to slow you down.
  • Fluids – Top off the fluids, including oil, brake, coolant, power steering, transmission, and windshield washer fluids. Keep a bottle of each fluid in the trunk near the spare tire for potential emergencies.
  • Air Conditioning – This is the most important item for your comfort on the road. If you think it’s not cooling well enough, ask a professional to check it.
Friends Together Raising Hands in a car during a summer road trip
Friends Together Raising Hands | iStock images/DeanDrobot

8. Are you prepared for an emergency

When does your car typically break down? Most would say at the most inconvenient time possible. That means you must have an emergency kit in your car during your summer road trip. This kit should include:

  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • First aid kit
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Bottled water

9. Clean your car before your road trip

To enjoy your time on the road, start with a clean and organized car. This makes it easy to feel free and relaxed on the road. Give your vehicle a good washing inside and out and organize your stuff so that you know where everything is.

10. Plan your trip

Sometimes, taking a summer road trip without a plan is fun and adventurous, but that feeling dissipates quickly when you’re stuck on the side of the road. Even if you don’t plan out every aspect of your trip, at least have an idea of where you want to go and the location of potential rest stops, gas stations, and points of interest. This can help avoid extra challenges on the road.

Bonus: Music is necessary

Some cell phone dead spots still exist, meaning it’s important to have a saved playlist to listen to in your vehicle. Download your playlist or create a new list that’s downloaded to your phone before starting your summer road trip.

Use these tips and become a summer road trip nerd who’s prepared and experiences the wonder of the open road and everything it offers.

Source: Royal Purple Direct