10 Tips for Long Summer Road Trips


It’s the middle of summer and all your thoughts are on fun and vacation. If you are a car enthusiast who relishes time on the open road with your favorite car, the last thing you want is problems, whether you are getting ready to go or worse, if you’re on the road. You simply want to enjoy the trip.

According to Didyouknowcars.com, the most common problems people have during summer drives are broken drive belts, flat tires, fuel leaks, weak battery, broken Air Conditioning, overheating engines, worn shock absorbers, and worn wiper blades. Many of these issues can be avoided if you take your car into the shop for periodic maintenance, or at least check these before you start your summer road trip. 

Here we describe 10 practical tips to consider for your safety and pleasure while driving.

1: Fluids

Check the level of all your car fluids and carry extra bottles:

  • Engine Oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Automatic transmission or clutch
  • Power steering
  • Windshield washer

2: Tires

Check the air pressure in each of your tires. Make sure your tires have a tread. Also, check you have a spare tire, and it also has sufficient air pressure. Check for the right tire-changing tools in the car.

3: Air Conditioning

If your car has AC, make sure it is working well ahead of the trip. 

4: Battery and Jumper Cables

Check that your battery is fully charged. Some older batteries may also require periodic adding of distilled water to each of the cell levels. Also, make sure you have jumper cables in case there is a problem with the electrical system, and your battery goes dead.

5: Extra Keys

One of the unfortunate things that can happen is that you lose your car keys during your travels, and you are many miles from home.

6: Extra Water

Take extra bottles of water. It can be a lifesaver if it is really hot and there is no place to get something to drink. Also, cars often overheat during strenuous hill climbing. (It’s amazing how many cars overheat on their way up New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington each year.) If this happens to you, DO NOT TAKE THE CAP OFF THE RADIATOR WHILE IT’S HOT. Hot steam can cause serious burns. The best practice is to turn off the car and open the hood. After a while, it will eventually cool down. Be patient. When the radiator cap is cool enough to the touch, open it slowly, standing away from it. Check the water level. If necessary, add some of the bottled water you brought with you and put the cap back on before continuing to drive. Monitor your temperature gauge. If necessary, stop for help at the nearest service station.

7: Roadside Emergency Kit

Put together your own emergency kit to include flares and a physical map of your travels for when there’s no cell coverage. Also include a First Aid kit that includes common medicines such as pain relievers (e.g., aspirin, Advil, Tylenol), stomach ailment remedies (e.g., Tums, Pepto Bismal, Alka Seltzer), an antihistamine medication (e.g., Benadryl), an antibiotic cream to protect against infection, and bandages for cuts and wounds.

8: Windshield Wipers

Check that you have good, working windshield wipers. If necessary, replace them so that you can see clearly when driving through sudden downpours and thunderstorms.

9: Essential Documents

Make sure you have your license, registration, insurance information, and the car manual. 

10: Phone and Charger

Don’t forget your phone or your car charger.

For over 30 years, Bow Auto Parts has been a family-owned and operated business located conveniently on Route 3A in New Hampshire. Our dedication to improving the used auto parts business is steadfast and wholeheartedly shared by our extended family – the amazing team of professionals at Bow Auto Parts. We know that your car safety is important for summer travel fun. Careful planning and maintenance can have you avoid on-the-road travel headaches. 

And as always, If you have questions about quality used car parts, give us a call.

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