Preparing Your Car for a Road Trip

Summer is coming, and you are getting ready for summer vacation. At Cassels Garage here in Melbourne, Florida we want to help you have a stress-free road trip. Whether you plan on driving your car a short distance to Orlando or a much longer road trip up or down the coast, we have some tips to make sure you and your family can have an awesome adventure.

Schedule a car maintenance check-up

Before you hit the road, make sure your car has had its routine maintenance check. You’ll also want to check wipers and fluid levels. Between Florida’s infamous summer storms and love-bug season on the horizon, you must make sure your windshield wipers are working properly and that your wiper fluid is topped off.  If you are close to needing your oil changed or a tune-up, get it done before your travel hundreds of miles. Having your vehicle in top shape will minimize the chance of needing roadside assistance on your vacation. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind while driving down the highway.

Check your car battery

There is nothing worse than pulling off the road for a break and have your battery die mid-trip. Check your battery and make sure it is strong with clean terminals. Learn more about battery care.

Inspect your tires for low tread.

Also, check for bald spots or other potential hazards. Make sure they are inflated to the proper PPI as recommended in your auto owner’s manual. Now is not the time to push your low tire tread to the limit. If you don’t have a gauge to measure the tread you can stop by Cassels Garage and we can check it for you. Or, you can take a quarter and place it upside down in the tread. If you can see the top of George Washington’s head, you need new tires. If you need to replace your tires, Cassel’s Garage can help you make the best selection at a competitive price.

Check your brakes

Give yourself added peace of mind and get your brakes checked. You can ask us to inspect your car’s brake pads to make sure they aren’t worn or need replacing.

Create an Emergency Supply Kit

Buy a small plastic box and place the following items in it: first-aid kit, flashlight, blanket, tools, and paper towels. Bring water and extra snacks, too. Most likely, you won’t need these items, but there is an added comfort to know you have it if an emergency arises.

Pack light

Just because you are driving instead of flying to your destination, don’t use it as an opportunity to pack more than you need. Be sure to check your vehicle’s load capacity to make sure you don’t put too much weight in the car – an overpacked car will reduce your gas efficiency and cost you more money. If you place a rooftop cargo box on your vehicle, only place light, bulky items in it. A heavy load on the roof can make it harder to handle your car in an emergency.

Print out directions

In this day in age, this may sound like old school advice. However, there are places that you may lose cell connection – it’s always good to have a backup plan for navigation. If you don’t want to print out paper, at least pre-plan your route on your phone and take photos of your screen for reference.

Be patient and safe

Summer is a popular time for road trips. When you hit slow-moving traffic, be patient and keep a safe distance behind the car in front of you. If you decide to drive later in the evening to avoid traffic, make sure you a well-rested and have a plan to stop if you need to take a break.

We hope these tips will help you enjoy the ride to your destination this summer. Bring your vehicle into Cassels Garage and we will make sure you are ready for your summer road trip!