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Ultimate Road Trip Checklist for Your Car

Your bags are packed, your destination address is loaded in the GPS, plenty of snacks and drinks are chilling in a cooler, an iPod full of tunes is charging, and a variety of toys and games are stocked away for the kids. You’re ready for your road trip! But is your car?

The quickest way to put a damper on—or an abrupt end to—your road trip is to head out without making sure your vehicle is ready to go. To help you avoid this happening, we’ve compiled a list of “must-dos” before you embark on any road trips this spring and summer.

First things first: Don’t take off with the check engine light on. Whether that check engine light has been on for months or it just came on days before you’re planning to leave, do not delay in getting it checked. Don’t just hope that the problem won’t rear its head during your trip. Take your car to your local auto repair shop for a full checkup. While it might not be anything serious, there is still a chance that the light could be indicating a major problem with your engine.

Check your engine oil level. When’s the last time your car’s oil was changed? If it’s way past due, consider scheduling an oil change before you leave. Driving with dirty oil, especially for a long trip, will only do damage to your vehicle.

Check tire pressure and tread. Make sure your tires are filled to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. If you are driving on tires with low pressure, you could be putting you and your family at risk. When tires are too low, you might experience a lack of sufficient vehicle handling or control, potentially leading to an accident.

Do a test drive. You are very familiar with your car, but how often do you listen carefully to any noises like grinding or squealing or make note of any potential “weird” movements such as shaking? Free of all distractions, take your car for a quick jaunt on the highway with the intention of recognizing any potential issues. Better to notice something is wrong before you leave than mid-trip!

Your local Rad Air technicians can help make sure your car is in top shape for your upcoming road trip. Schedule an appointment or give us a call with any last-minute concerns.

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