Summertime is here! With that comes plenty of sunshine, great weather — and the desire to pack up your car and head out on a summer road trip.

But, that means a little summer road trip preparation. From getting your oil changed to packing for emergencies (as well as few extra bottles of sunscreen), here’s what you need to know about getting your car ready for a road trip!

Summer Road Trip View

Summer Road Trip Preparation

With more than 100 million Americans planning on traveling this year, Summer road trips will be on the top of many of those families lists. And it should be!

With Texas (and the surrounding states and areas) offering many gorgeous pit stops, it’s time to hit the road! So, what do you need to do for your car before pulling out of the driveway?

Check/Change Your Oil

Your engine’s oil has the large and important task of keeping your engine lubed and running smoothly. Without (or with dirty oil) your road trip may not be that long.

The engine isn’t ready for an oil change? It’s best to check it just in case. Take a peek at your engine’s oil dipstick to verify it’s the proper color and at the appropriate level.

Test Your Lights, Wipers, and Horn

Before heading on the road, test the big 3: lights, wipers, and horn.

Many road trips start early in the morning or finish late at night, and when in an unfamiliar area seeing it imperative. And should it start raining, you’ll be pleased with the working wipers.

And when a driver begins to drift into your lane, that horn will come in handy. (But remember, one test is enough — keep your neighbors happy!)

Make Sure You (and Your Car) Stays Cool

A Summer road trip isn’t cool, especially in Texas.

Before hitting the pavement, take your car for a spin around town. Keep an eye out for any engine overheating. While you’re at it, crank the A/C and make sure you can keep the passengers cool.

Check Your Tires

No one wants a flat on the highway or to find their tires are bald during a rainstorm.

Before heading out, take the time to check your tire pressure and tread. Stop at your local gas station to fill up your tires to their proper levels to avoid any uneven wearing as the miles pile up.

While you’re at it, make sure to check your spare. Is it in good working condition? Is the jack with the spare tire? Don’t wait to find out that your spare is flat while on the side of the road.

Peek Under the Hood

While you aren’t mechanic, take the time to give your engine a once over.

Look for signs of wear on your battery connections, visible belts, and any corroding on engine components. See something you don’t like? Take it into your trusted mechanic for a quick inspection.

Pack the Essentials

From your ID, to maps, to snacks, to good music, to friends — road trips take some supplies!

Here a few things to pack when hitting the road…

  • Driver’s License (for everyone that may be driving)
  • Car Insurance (check to make sure anyone driving your vehicle is covered)
  • Paper Map. Sometimes your travels may take you off the grid — and that’s half the fun. So make sure to have the old fashion paper version for your area.
  • Emergency Kit including a first aid kit, water, blankets, food, and reflective triangles. Feeling like extra credit? A filled gas can doesn’t hurt!
  • Great Snacks! Who doesn’t love Cheetos on a road trip? Perhaps a refreshing La Croix? A Snickers at least!
  • Tunes. Roll the windows down and jam out (safely in a non-distracted manner).

Going on a summer road trip is a great way to celebrate the sunshine and warm weather. Following these preparation tips will get you off on a great start.

Have something you want to be fixed on your car before heading out? Contact Northwest Auto of Houston today and schedule an appointment!