How to Get Your Ride Road Trip Ready
Summertime is road trip time! According to AAA, more than two-thirds of us will pack up the family (and/or pets) and hit the open road. Here are some tips to get your ride road trip ready, and some tools to help should the wheels come off (figuratively, not literally, we hope!!).
1. Check Tire Condition and Pressure
Making sure your tires are up for a long trip is easy yet often overlooked. We tend to assume our tire pressure is correct and that our tires are in good shape.
Maybe so, but to be sure, do a visual check of your tire tread and sidewalls. All tires have wear bars in the grooves of the tread. When those bars are flush with the tread, it's time to replace your tires.
Check the sidewalls for bulges or cuts. And check tire pressure when the tires are cool. Most vehicles have tire pressure charts in the owner's manual, on the pillar inside the driver's door or in the glove box. Don't forget to check the spare tire too!
Check out some additional tire maintenance tips here.
You can be extra-prepared for a flat tire, and fix it quickly and effortlessly with the Powerbuilt 12V Jack and 12V Lug Nut Impact Wrench. Both use your vehicle battery for power so you can save your strength for beach volleyball.
The Powerbuilt 12V inflator offers a fast and convenient way to check and adjust tire pressure on your car, truck, trailer, RV and bikes without driving to a gas station. And you can fill up your raft, beach ball and camp mattress with it too!
2. Check Fluid Levels and Condition
Check the fluid level and condition of anti-freeze, oil, brake and windshield washer fluid. Add fluids as needed per your owner's manual. If you plan far enough out, you can save a few bucks by changing your own oil before your trip. Read our how-to tips from Eric the Car Guy here.
If you detect any leaks, have those addressed before leaving. Nothing is worse than being stuck on the side of the road with a puddle of coolant under your engine. Our friends over at Prestone have some helpful tips about leaks here.
3. Check Belts and Hoses
Just like summer vacation, engine belts and hoses don't last forever. Major manufacturers like Gates Corporation recommend inspecting all belts and hoses at 60,000 miles and replacing all of them at 90,000 miles or whenever your owner's manual specifies. Consumer Reports offers some great tips for belt and hose inspection here.
4. Do a Brake Check
Don't head out with grinding or squealing brakes. Get those checked and serviced before your trip. You need to be able to stop safely and quickly. And if your car or truck is loaded with vacation gear or you're towing a trailer, having strong, sound brakes can save a life. 'Nuff said.
5. Build a Road Trip Kit
Now that your car or truck is road-worthy, it's time to get you and your family ready. We suggest putting together a road trip kit. You can pack fun stuff like snacks, games, tablets, charging cords, maps and other goodies for your passengers. Make a second kit for the trunk, with a flashlight, work gloves, flares, jumper cables, water and other roadside essentials.
You can put it all together ahead of time and have it ready to go with a Powerbuilt 21" Tool and Gear Bag and hit the road in style.
Inspect, repair, prepare, pack your beach chair then have a safe and fun Road Trip!
- Andy Somerville