How to Make a Summer Driving Trip a Happy, Stress-Free Trip

AAA Automotive Team

Whether you are headed out on a weekend road trip, planning a month-long family vacation or waking a four-wheeled friend from its long winter nap, you’ll want to make sure the summer driving season brings maximum enjoyment and minimum stress. Before you pack up the car, check out these travel tips from AAA and your local AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities.

First, have your car looked over by a certified and inspected AAA Approved Auto Repair facility. If you are a AAA member you can have a maintenance check performed free of charge with any paid maintenance or repair. This will check over those items on the engine that can frequently fail during summer’s heat, such as belts and hoses. Also, they will give you a written estimate of any repairs or maintenance and guarantee all work with a 24-month or 24,000-mile warranty that is good at over 6,400 repair facilities across the U.S.

Tend to what connects your car to the road – your tires. If you have snow tires on, make sure to switch to some all-season tires for the summer. Check your tire pressure and check it often. Buy a quality tire pressure gauge to check air pressures and check the door decal, which has the proper pressures for your vehicle listed on it. 

Stay on top of your fluid levels. If you’ve fallen behind on maintenance, get your vehicle’s oil changed before you hit the road. Use the proper type of oil for your engine, 5w-30, 10w-30 or 10w-40 are multiviscous, and get a bit thinner the hotter it gets outside, thereby increasing the chance that the engine might not get the proper lubrication (it’s the opposite in winter).

Have your battery checked. Summer’s heat and vibration are the two primary causes of battery failure in today’s vehicles.  If you are a AAA member, call our office and one of our trained battery installers will come to your location to install a fresh, reasonably priced six-year AAA battery that comes with a three-year full warranty on your vehicle, with some restrictions.  Battery service not available in all areas.

Make sure you can see. Check your wiper blades for condition. If they are skipping on the windshield or streaking it, they need to be replaced. It is not unusual to get damage from winter ice and summer bugs and dirt. Also do a light check regularly to make sure headlights, turn signals, and brake lights are functioning properly.

Find your local AAA Approved Auto Repair Facility