July 24, 2017 · Vacation, Vehicles

Road Trip Checklist

Summer is a great time to take a road trip. Before loading up the car and rolling out of town, here are a few things to check for:

Before you back out of the driveway, check the tread on your tires. One easy way to test your tire’s tread is by inserting a penny into your tire's tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, it's time to replace your tires. 

You’ll also want to check your tire pressure. Not only is it a safety hazard to drive on deflated tires but you’ll get better gas mileage if your tires are filled to the correct psi (pounds per square inch). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, every one psi drop in the pressure of the tires is going to lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent. You'll find the manufacturer's optimum or recommended tire pressure for your car on a sticker in the door jam, or in your owner's manual. 

Check Fluid Levels
Checking the following fluid levels may help you avoid an accident or an unnecessary breakdown: oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze, windshield washer fluid and brake fluid. 

Keeping Cool
Next, you’ll want to turn on your car and test your AC to make sure it’s functioning correctly. In hotter temperatures you’ll be relying more on your AC, and if that goes out mid-trip, you won’t have a very pleasant ride. Checking your coolant will ensure your car doesn’t overheat and leave you stranded on the side of the road.

Roadside Assistance
Did you know one of the benefits of a Delta Community Visa® Credit Card is roadside dispatch? Or that many car insurance companies offer roadside assistance? Research your roadside assistance options before taking off because you never know when you might need it.

Wiper Blades
Summertime often brings afternoon showers so make sure your windshield wiper blades are in tip-top shape. Windshield wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year, or as soon as you notice a difference in driving visibility. 

Pack the Essentials
If you’re traveling with little ones, beat the boredom with car games, books, toys and snacks. It’s also wise to pack a paper map, first-aid kit, extra phone chargers and other emergency items. Always double check that your spare tire, emergency tools, jumper cables and flashlight are in your car and accessible. 

Road trips are great ways to make lasting memories, but make sure those memories are good ones by running through this checklist before hitting the open road.