We’re in the dog days of summer. With that in mind, it’s important to remember to make sure your vehicles are properly maintained and equipped with roadside emergency supplies to help keep families safe during the hot summer months. Before logging all those summer vacation miles:
There are many things you can do and that the car care experts at Charles Automotive & Tire do every day. Inspect your vehicle’s radiator, pressure cap, belts, and hoses to make sure they are in good shape with no signs of blisters, cracks, or cuts in the rubber.
Check fluid levels: brake, automatic transmission, power steering, windshield washer, and coolant. Make sure each reservoir is full and if you see any sign of fluid leakage, give the car care experts at Charles Automotive & Tire a call.
Before any long trip, any time of year, remember to have your vehicle checked over. This is a sampling of the things we’re happy to check to ensure your travels are safe:
- Check the air pressure in all tires, including the spare;
- Make sure the wiper blades are functioning properly;
- Check battery life and inspect batteries and battery cables;
- Inspect brake pads and linings for wear; change the oil and filter according to the manufacturer's service interval specifications.
- Test the headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights.
Move the beach gear over for the roadside emergency kit. Even if you've fully prepared your vehicle for summer travel, it never hurts to have a "just in case" kit in your trunk. Your emergency kit should include:
- Jumper cables in case you or someone else needs a jump start.
- Emergency flat tire repair and/or spare tire.
- Gloves, blankets, and towels.
- Hazard triangle, road flares, brightly colored distress sign, or "Help" or "Call Police" flag.
- A small assortment of tools.
- First aid kit, a must.
- Cell phone and charger, another must.
- Water for both the car radiator and your family.
- High-calorie, non-perishable food.
Here are a few more tips to make sure your summer travels get you safely to your destination.
- Always use proper safety restraints for all occupants.
- Use the long drive as teaching moments about safe driving.
- Pack a cooler with healthy snacks like water, fruit, nuts, and granola.
- Stop every few hours to let the kids stretch their legs.
- Adults should take a break from time to time, exit the vehicle, and stretch too. If you become drowsy, don't hesitate to pull over to a safe location and rest until you feel able to continue the drive.
- Use electronic devices to help keep away the boredom on the long drives, as long as it’s not distracting to the driver.
Ensure to check and stock trunk supplies twice a year and remember never to leave on a road trip with your vehicle's "check engine light" or "malfunction indicator light" lit up. If you take these precautions, you and your vehicle might be happier on the roads this summer. And don't forget to have fun!
The auto repair experts at Charles Automotive & Tire look forward to seeing you when you safely return from your well-deserved summer vacation.