Summer is here and for many, the warmest season is a period of travel and relaxation. One of the easiest ways to get away for a quick vacation is by gassing (or charging) up your car and hitting the open road. If you're gearing up for a summer road trip and need some help getting started, don't fret. With the help of Safelite®, we've put together a road trip checklist of the car maintenance you should do to get set for a summer of cruising.
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A Checklist of What You Need to Prep for Your Summer 2022 Road Trip
1. Get Your Windshield Fixed
First off, is it safe to drive with a cracked windshield? The experts at Safelite recommend having any auto glass damage fixed as soon as possible so that you stay safe on the road. A crack or chip in your windshield might seem minor, but besides potentially obscuring your view, there’s also the chance that small crack could worsen from exposure to extreme heat or even the impact from driving over bumps in the road. Make sure your windshield is well prepared for whatever Mother Nature—or just life—throws at it before you hit the road.
Safelite makes getting your windshield replaced easy. Not only can you schedule on your time, but they will also recalibrate your vehicle's advanced safety system afterward. Why recalibration? Removing a damaged windshield on a newer vehicle affects the forward-facing camera connected to it, so most vehicle manufacturers require that the camera be recalibrated to ensure advanced safety features—like automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning—continue to work properly.
Safelite’s expert technicians can often provide both windshield replacement and advanced safety system recalibration in a single appointment to save you time, so you can head out on your trip even sooner.
2. Refill Your Windshield Wiper Fluid and Take Care of Regular Maintenance
To properly maintain your windshield, you'll want to make sure it's clear of any potentially harmful debris, which could damage the glass. And while thinking about keeping it clean, it's important to make sure your supply of windshield wiper fluid is stocked before you hit the road. Pop the hood and find the tube capped with a lid embossed with a windshield symbol. Look into the reservoir to see if it's a bit low. If so, carefully pour the fluid until the reservoir looks full. Replace the cap, and you're good to go.
It's also a smart idea to keep a spare jug of wiper fluid in your trunk. If you hit especially turbulent weather, you might run through fluid quickly. It's always good to be prepared.
If your current wipers are older than six months and not quite working the way they should, consider purchasing a new set from Safelite. They'll even install them—for free—for you. Not to mention, damaged wipers can also damage your brand-new windshield!
After you've topped off your windshield wiper fluid, consider getting a quick carwash as well to have your car in tip-top shape for the drive ahead. If you want to make your car really shimmer, pick up some professional-grade glass cleaner from Safelite. It's strong, streak-free, smells pleasant and will get your car's glass glistening.
While you're making these adjustments, it's also a good time to service any burnt-out lights and get an oil change to avoid any potential engine damage.
3. Check Your Tire Air Pressure
Weather can also impact your tire air pressure. If it gets too low, you risk getting a flat—the epitome of a road trip ruiner.
To check your tire air pressure, first you'll have to identify the recommended pressure for your car. This information can usually be found on a sticker inside the driver door.
Once you've got the numbers, you'll need a tire gauge to do the actual check.
Remove the cap from the tire's air valve and put it somewhere safe. Press the gauge against the valve for a few seconds. You'll hear a hiss of air escaping from the tire.
Read the number on the gauge and compare it to the recommended metric you found. Replace the valve and repeat for all the tires.
If the pressure is too low, you can inflate the tires using the air compressor provided at most gas stations. Apply the hose to the valve to inflate. It may inflate automatically or you might have to use a lever, depending on the compressor. Inflate and check the pressure with the gauge and repeat until your tires are properly inflated.
4. Make Sure Your Car Registration Is Up to Date
It's important to double check that all your documentation is up to date before you embark on a long journey—that includes both your vehicle registration and your driver's license. Your local DMV can help with any license or registration renewals.
With this checklist in hand and some expert preparation conducted by the team over at Safelite, you should be ready to embark on your anticipated summer trip. Pack some snacks, make a playlist and enjoy the journey.