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How to get your car ready for a road trip

Posted by: Erik Bjornstad

Are you ready for a summer road trip? That sound you hear is the sound of a zillion hands being raised all across the nation. With Dr. Fauci’s announcement that we have finally crossed through the pandemic designation for the country, people feel like this summer is a chance to start getting back to normal. That used to mean a summer road trip for many people. Well, maybe this is the same we see more people reviving that tradition.

how-to-get-your-car-ready-for-a-road-tripThat’s welcome news for Americans who, for one reason or another, didn’t get out on the road much the last few years. The last summer before the full-blown pandemic, 2019, Americans took 820 million trips in July, August, and September. A year later, in 2020, it was only about 680 million. Last year saw somewhat of a rebound to 760 million.  The summer of 2022 should see this rebound continue to trend upwards. Surveys indicate that more than 200 million American adults, over 80% of the country, plan to take at least one summer trip. 40% of adults are planning to take more than one.

Not only are many people planning to get out of the house this summer, but they’re also not planning on staying close to home. Of the 80% who are planning at least one trip, less than a fifth of them (18%) aren’t planning to venture more than 100 miles from their house. In fact, just as many of them are planning to travel more than 500 miles away as are planning to keep close to home this summer.

A few years ago, we wrote a 7-page guide called Making Your Summer Road Trip The Best It Can Be. Since the chances are you’ll be hitting the road this summer, let’s review the important points you’ll need to consider. 

Tires Are Overlooked

Tires are part of the car’s safety system, as well as having an impact on gas mileage (something everyone is concerned about these days). Don’t go by the maximum tire pressure listed on the tire’s sidewall, go by the recommended tire pressure from your car’s manufacturer.

The AC System

The way cars are engineered these days, the AC system doesn’t just keep you cool, it also powers things like the water pump and alternator. If you’re planning a long trip, it’s a good idea to have the system checked out by a mechanic. That way, you won’t have an unexpected breakage while driving across the Arizona desert.

Have An Emergency Kit

What kind of things would be a good idea to be prepared with? Coolant, 2 quarts of oil, an actual paper map, duct tape, and a real spare tire. That’s an overview of what we talked about. For more details on each of these and other recommendations, you can find all of those in Making Your Summer Road Trip The Best It Can Be.

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This post was published on May 26, 2022 and was updated on May 26, 2022.

Topics: Car Care