If you’re planning on a road trip this summer, it pays to be prepared. We’ve mentioned a few tips already on how you can do that. There’s fuel saving tips and ways to show your car some love, both of which outline ways you can make your car run more efficiently. But the summer brings its own challenges, so here are a few more things you should think about before heading out in the heat on the highway:
Having properly inflated tires is very important. Your tires will last longer, you’ll use less fuel and you’ll find your car handles better, too. When you check your tires, make sure they’re cold, because the pressure inside will actually increase in them as you drive. And it’s probably better to use your own gauge rather than the one at the service station. Those may not be as accurate because of all the wear and tear they receive.
The summer heat can be particularly hard on your car’s battery. Make sure to check the battery terminals for corrosion, and if you’ve had it for a few years already, it might be time to get it tested to make sure it’s still in good condition. It’s always a good idea to bring a long a set of jumper cables too, just in case.
Your car’s cooling system is working a lot harder now than it did in the colder weather, so it’s all the more important to make sure you’ve got your fluids topped up. While you’re looking at the fluid levels, check your radiator for any signs of leaks or rust and have a look at your belts and hoses too to make sure they’re in good condition.
And don’t forget, it’s not just cars that can suffer from overheating. If you’re going on a long drive, be sure to take along something to drink and keep hydrated. Bring some sunscreen too, as it’s easy to get burned on long, sunny drives. Finally, the warmer weather can cause fatigue to set in quickly. If you start to feel drowsy, find a rest stop, pull over and take a moment or two to stretch your legs, get some fresh air or even take a nap.