How to Get Your Car Ready for Summer Road Trips
Few things say "freedom" like throwing a bag in the trunk and hitting the open road: the scenic routes, the weird regional convenience stores, the relaxation of traveling on your own schedule.
Well, it's not that relaxing if you have a car maintenance problem, such as windshield wipers that smear more than clean. Here are some things to think about before that big weekend trip, powered by our friends at O'Reilly Auto Parts.
1) If you buy your new windshield wipers at O'Reilly, they'll install them for free. Yep, it's pretty simple. RAIN-X suggests replacing your wipers every 6 to 12 months, or when you start noticing them squeaking across the windshield or streaking, splitting or skipping the moisture instead of working evenly. If you'd like to DIY, here's a video guide:
2) Take it for a test drive a week or two before the big trip. Mobil Oil suggests going at high speeds on a highway and looking for "grinding or moaning" wheels, shimmying or squeaking when breaking, steering that seems to pull or drift, a soft brake pedal, and the like. If something seems off, best to have it checked out before you leave.
3) Check your tire pressure. Many people think about tire pressure during oil changes or extreme temperature drops, but improperly inflated tires can drag down fuel economy and lead to more severe problems. As long as you're filling your tires, check out the tread, too.
4) Think about your battery. Extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, can effect the battery, so if it's been awhile since you had it checked, go for it, according to esurance. O'Reilly locations will check your battery for free; in fact, depending on the location, there are several other points they'll check for free, too. Learn more here.
5) Be prepared for the worst. Refresh (or create) an emergency kit. Consumer Reports suggests including water, extra snacks, a blanket, flashlight and first-aid kit, as well as some basic tools.
Appreciate campy, tongue-in-cheek videos? O'Reilly has a short video series called BroTrippers with more advice.