Planning A Summer Road Trip? Simple Solutions To Ensure Your Car Doesn't Struggle

If you own a vehicle, you most likely understand the challenges of cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. From washing and waxing to refilling your windshield fluid and purchasing gas, it is easy to see the overwhelming nature of owning and operating a car. Unfortunately, without proper care, your car will not be appealing or in good working order. Considering an estimated 66 percent of Americans will take a trip this summer, ensuring your car is in perfect condition is smart. Using this guide, your car will be ready for the stresses of a summer road trip.


Tires move your car from one point to another, but they also play an essential role in safe driving. Good quality tires with ample amounts of tread help your car grip the road, allowing for safe overall handling. Without proper tread, you may place yourself at risk of a dangerous accident. Fortunately, checking your tires is simple using the Penny Method.

Take a penny and place Lincoln's head first into several areas of tread. If the top part of Lincoln's head disappears into the tread, you have a safe amount of tread. However, if you can see the entire portion of Lincoln's head, you should replace your tires.

Check your tire inflation, as well, before heading out on your road trip. Tires lose 2 pounds per square inch, or PSI, of air pressure each month, which can quickly add up without inflating your tires periodically. Driving with four tires, underinflated by 10 PSI or more, reduces your fuel economy by 10 percent.  


Driving your family to your vacation destination is not possible without your car's transmission. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough importance on maintaining your transmission fluid. Of course, most manufacturers recommend changing transmission fluid in an automatic vehicle around the 60,000 to 100,000 mileage mark. If you are noticing the following issues, visit a professional to determine if your car needs new transmission fluid:

  • Rough Shifting
  • Slipping
  • Rough Idling
  • Noticeable Noises While Driving

Consider checking your transmission fluid regularly. Pull out the transmission fluid dipstick and notice its color. Healthy automatic transmission fluid should appear bright red in color. If the fluid is dark, you will need to change the fluid. It also wouldn't hurt to make sure that you don't need transmission repair, while you're there.


Once you head off on your road trip, you will also need to stop, so checking your brakes is also important.  To get started, check your brake fluid. If fluid is low, you may have an underlying issue with your pads or rotors.

If you hear squealing when applying your brakes, you probably need to replace your pads. While this is an inexpensive and simple repair, it is important for your safety and for prolonging the life of your brake rotors.

When you press the brake, pressure creates friction against your brake rotors. This friction will wear down your rotors over time, resulting in an improper braking system. If left unrepaired, your car will not be able to stop at a proper time, leading to potential accidents. Fortunately, brake technicians can replace or resurface your rotors after installing new brake pads.


Battery power is necessary for operating your car's computer, engine, entertainment, and lights, so spend some quality inspection time on the battery.

Inspect the terminals for corrosion. If you notice buildup of battery acid around your terminals, combine 1 cup of water with ¼ cup of baking soda. Scrub the baking soda solution onto the corrosion using a wire brush.

A summer road trip with your family should be full of pleasant memories that do not include breaking down and being stranded on the side of the road. Using these simple solutions, your car will be ready for the stresses of a road trip this summer.