Ah, summertime. A time for baseball, backyard BBQs, and fireworks on 4th of July. And just like celebrating America’s birthday, there’s nothing as uniquely American as taking a summer road trip. So grab your friends or family, fill up the tank, and set off for a national park, the California coast, or that big city you’ve always wanted to see.

Before you hit the open road, be sure these common road mishaps don’t keep you from your destination.

Flat Tire

  • Make sure to check your tire pressure. Correct tire pressure ensures your tires are preforming as their manufacturer intended, as well as improves your gas milage. Consult your owner’s manual to determine the correct pressure.
  • Do the “Penny Test”. Take a penny and place it head first between the trend groves of your tire. If you can see the very top of Lincoln’s hair, this means your tires are very worn and you might want to consider replacing them. If Lincoln’s hair is covered, chances are your tires do not need to be replaced. And who said pennies aren’t worth something?
  • Avoid potholes and other potentially hazardous road conditions.

Dead Battery

  • Get your battery checked! Many auto repair shops offer this as a free service, or as a part of many oil change packages.
  • Disconnect your battery terminals and clean up any corrosive buildup. This can be done by pouring baking soda on the terminals and scrubbing them with an old toothbrush dipped in water.
  • Insider tip: Applying petroleum jelly to clean terminals slows corrosive buildup and protects your battery
Empty Gas Tank
  • Be sure to keep your gas tank above a quarter of a tank.
  • If you happen to fall below that, find a gas station as soon as possible. Driving with low fuel levels leads to damage of your fuel injector.
Auto Care 101
  • Before heading out, schedule your car’s routine maintenance appointments. Get your oil changed and schedule a tune up before you start logging miles.
  • Replace worn wipper blades. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a summer thunderstorm and not being able to safely drive through it.
  • Replace cracked windshields. In many states, you may be pulled over and given a ticket, as cracked windshields are considered safety risks. Nothing can ruin a road trip more than a hefty ticket.
  • Assemble a car safety kit. Include the following items: car jack, wrench, spare inflated tire, jumper cables, empty gas can, road flares, food and water, emergency blankets.
  • Make sure your car insurance is up to date. Familiarize yourself with your coverage and be sure that all proper documents are in your glove compartment. (If you have any questions, contact one of our knowledgable agents!)

Now, get out there on the road and see this beautiful country! And don’t forget, make an awesome road trip playlist!