On the summer bucket list of many students is the quintessential road trip — wind in your hair, friends at your side and an adventure that can lead you as far as you can go.
But before you can experience the freedom that can come with taking a road trip, it’s important to be prepared. Lisa Copeland, founder of Buying Cars Her Way and a leader in the automotive industry for more than 25 years, offers these tips you should keep in mind before you hit the road:
Keep these tips in mind before you hit the road:
1. Fill up all fluids – not just gas. A variety of fluids are your car’s lifeblood — each one keeps your car running smoothly throughout the years. Before you leave for your road trip, make sure you check your oil, coolant, automatic transmission fluid and brake fluid. This can all be checked during a regular maintenance checkup, so you don’t have to do it by yourself.
2. Check your wiper blades. No one likes getting stuck in a rainstorm with old wiper blades. Check to see how old your blades are and replace them if needed. A great rule of thumb is to make sure there are no streaks, screeches or bumps when your windshield wipers turn on. If there are, it’s time to change the blades out.
3. Make sure your tire pressure is perfect. Tire pressure can affect your car’s performance significantly, so make sure each one of your tires is filled to the proper pressure. Also, make sure your tires have enough tread depth. If your tires are lacking tread it could bring significant control issues as your vehicle won’t hold the road properly and is especially dangerous in rain.
4. Use technology to find the cheapest gas. There’s an app for everything these days, including finding the cheapest gas in your area. These apps can help you choose your gas stops more wisely, saving you a few extra pennies along the trip than can add up.
5. Be prepared just in case – pack an emergency kit. Fill up a kit with a variety of tools and items you might need just in case you find yourself stranded on the side of the road – such as a flashlight, tire gauge, jumper cables, batteries and water.