One of the fastest ways to put the brakes on a great vacation is with an emergency. But by planning ahead and preparing properly, travelers can minimize risk by following these precautionary tips:
- Consider having your car checked by a Simpson Brothers automotive technician before a long trip. An ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure.
- Check the tires regularly for uneven or excessive tread wear. Make sure all items, including the spare, are inflated properly. Do at least one check BEFORE hitting the road, as tires hot from driving give inaccurate inflation readings.
- Check the coolant level and condition, making certain the proper 50/ 50 mixture of water and coolant is present.
- Check the level and condition of the engine oil. If driving under extreme conditions - such as very hot summer weather or pulling a heavy trailer - you may want to consider switching to an oil with higher viscosity. Check your owner's manual for specific recommendations.
- Look for worn, cracked, blistered or soft belts or hoses. Always perform this check with the engine off.
- Hot weather can shorten the life of a car's battery - if there's concern, have it tested by a qualified auto-motive technician at Simpson Brothers Garage.
- Carry an emergency kit with a flashlight, extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit and extra water.
- Don't let the gas level get below one-quarter of a tank.
- Select your route on a map ahead of time and study it to know exactly where you're going.
- Reserve all accommodations in advance.
- Lock your car when you leave it and keep valuables out of sight.
- Secure children and adults in safety seats, booster seats or seat belts as required by law.
- Bring books, games, or music for the ride, and a pillow so passengers can sleep.
- Bring information on your destination to make the most of your trip.