happy family packing things to car at home parkingSummer is here. That means it’s vacation time!

Airline tickets can be especially pricey during those peak summer travel months, which means road trips are a must for many people. There are a number of advantages to taking a road trip. For example, you can pack more things; you can have lots of snacks; you can stop more places on the way to your final destination; and it can be more relaxing and less stressful compared to air travel. Making sure your car is in the best shape for your road trip — whether it’s to Disneyland or a national parks, the mountains or the beach, a cabin in the woods or a condo in the city — will save you time and money later on.

While you will want to take your car to a professional for a thorough check-up before you leave, there are a few things you can check yourself, including your fluid levels, brakes, battery, belts and tires.

Here are a few things you should take care of before you set off on your adventure:

  1. Checking fluids — The obvious fluids you should make sure are set to go would be oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power-steering fluid and windshield washer fluid. You can easily check to see if your car is leaving spots on the driveway, which will determine if you should go get it looked at or not.
  2. Checking belts and hoses — High temperatures can make rubber parts wear down. You can easily check the hoses on a cool engine by pinching them and checking for irregularities. Look for cracks or other signs of wear on belts.
  3. Check your battery — Make sure you check the last time you replaced your battery and that the cables are attached securely. Corrosion would be evident by rust and a white powdery substance.
  4. Pay attention to your brakes — One of the most vital parts of your car on a road trip? The brakes. If your brakes haven’t been replaced in a while or if you hear a grinding or squeaking noise, They may need to be replaced. You’ll definitely want to have them checked before you hit the road.
  5. Check the tires — Checking the air in your tires is simple. Just make sure they have the pressure recommended by your car’s manufacturer. But you’ll also want to check for wear. You don’t want a flat or blowout on the highway. If there’s any doubt, ask a professional to check them for you.

Road trips can be some of the best memories for you and your family, so make sure your car is safe and ready to go before you leave to avoid problems along the way!