Preparing your Car for a Road Trip

Preparing for a Road Trip

Spring begins this Thursday, and that means warm weather and road trips are just around the corner. After a winter this bad, you may have a bad case of cabin fever. Before you hurry off to your favorite vacation spot with your family, follow these steps to make sure your vehicle is up to the task.

Vehicle Check Up

Driving around town is one thing, but long road trips can turn small issues to big ones in a hurry. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the highway with a non-functioning vehicle. We’re still offering a free multi-point inspection at Watters Autoland until May 17, 2014, so let us help you make sure your vehicle is ready.

Plan Ahead

You may have a destination in mind, but there may be some cool attractions between here and there. Get a travel guide and a map from AAA and sit down with the family to pick out some stops along the way. In fact, joining AAA gives you the benefit of roadside assistance anywhere in the US.

Using a good old fashioned map or atlas in place of today’s GPS devices can add an exciting dimension to your trip by taking back roads instead of the interstate system, which can be extremely boring.

If you’re traveling through a National Park or going through mountainous areas, keep in mind that some of these locations still have snow covered roads until late spring, so check with the park rangers to make sure your route is open.

Have Emergency Supplies

Accidents happen. Make sure your car has a good spare tire and assemble a kit with extra water, a first aid kit, nonperishable food, blankets, and a flashlight.

Fight Fatigue

If you follow step #2 and stop at attractions along the way to stretch your legs, you’ve got a great start to fighting fatigue. Take turns driving and avoid driving at night when possible.

Load Carefully

If you’re carrying lots of suitcases or heavy objects, make sure they are loaded evenly and strapped down if necessary. A shifting load can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Try to have most of the weight in front of the rear axle, or as far forward as possible in the trunk if you’re taking a car.

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