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10 Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Summer Road Trip
10 Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Summer Road Trip

Inspecting your tires is an important “to do” when preparing for your upcoming summer road trip, but there are a few more checks to make before hitting the road.

Spring has sprung and many people across the United States are planning a road trip on the more than four million miles of roads and streets.  Whether you are heading to Grandma’s, making the ultimate cross-country trip on the famed Route 66, or planning a weekend mountain getaway, ”Anywhere is Possible”, and General Tire has a few tips to make your trip more enjoyable.  

If you haven’t made the switch from winter to a summer or all-season tire, now’s the time.  When looking for a passenger or minivan tire to provide extended treadlife and a quiet, comfortable ride, a tire such as the Altimax RT43 is an excellent choice.  The GRABBERTM line is an optimum choice if you’re rolling in a light truck, SUV or crossover vehicle and are looking for durability, performance and comfort.

It’s also a good time to have your tires rotated and to check the tread depth.  This can be done by placing a penny into several tread grooves across the tire.  If part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread, you have more than 2/32” of tread depth remaining which is the recommended depth per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Lastly, check tire pressures.  Tires can lose one pound of pressure for every drop of 10-degrees Fahrenheit so it’s important to follow the pressures outlined in the owner’s manual for your vehicle.  And don’t forget to check the spare tire too.

Once your car is properly shod for the season, it’s time to look at the rest of your vehicle and give it a thorough checkup.  A check up a few weeks in advance of your trip is a good idea.  Then you have time for any necessary repairs before you head out.  

Follow this list of 10 items to prepare for your ultimate summer road trip (note: some work may need to be done by a professional):

  1. Inspect your tires – inspect your tires for any bulges on the sidewalls, tread depth, and of course, check the air pressure.  And don’t forget the spare.  
  2. Wipers and fluid levels – check your windshield wipers and fluid levels (wiper fluid, oil, water, etc.). 
  3. Make sure you’re charged – make sure your battery is charged and has clean terminals.
  4. Brakes – have your mechanic inspect your brakes to make sure the brake pads aren’t worn or need replacing.
  5. ER kit – stock an emergency kit in case of an accident or medical issue.  Include things like a flashlight, blanket, basic tools, first-aid kit and rags.  Also bring water and extra non-perishable snacks, just in case.  A solar phone charger isn’t a bad idea either.
  6. Pack smart – check your vehicle’s load capacity to make sure you aren’t putting too much weight in the car.  On most new cars, the total weight you can carry (including passengers and cargo combined) is printed on the door placard inside the driver’s door jam.  Also be aware that fuel economy is reduced with extra cargo.
  7. GPS – a portable GPS navigation system will help you get where you want to go while making it easy to find gas stations, restaurants and tourist stops along the way.  Traffic-enabled devices can warn of roadway congestion and assist in finding alternative routes.
  8. Kid friendly – if you are driving with kids, make sure you pack enough snacks, water, games, music and videos to keep them comfortable and occupied during the trip.
  9. Pack your patience – expect traffic if you are traveling during busy travel times.  Driving at night or early morning can help alleviate traffic problems.  Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to your location factoring in stops for fuel, refreshments and the restroom.
  10. Follow the rules – make sure to drive safely and follow the rules of the road as well as watch your dash for warning lights.

Follow us on Twitter @generaltire, #AnywhereIsPossible, for more tips.