Anytime is the perfect time to gather friends or family, pack up the car and hit the road for a road trip! Whether you’re taking a short weekend trip or a longer cross-country adventure, you want to make sure your car is in top shape before starting your travels. After all, there’s nothing worse than car troubles on vacation! Here is a road trip preparation checklist of 5 items to check on your car before hitting the road:

1. Basic Car Maintenance: Be sure to check all fluid levels and you windshield wiper fluid. Make sure all car headlights and brake lights are working. In need of an oil change or tire rotation? Get them done before going on a long trip as a preemptive measure.

2. Tire Inspection: Check tires for any tears or bulges in the side wall. The tires should have a good amount of tread left. If you don’t have a gauge, you can easily check your tire tread by holding a quarter upside down in the tread. If the top of George Washington’ head is visible, you need new tires to ensure traction in all weather conditions. Make sure the tire pressures are set to the appropriate levels, which should be listed in your car’s owner’s manual.

3. Car Battery Inspection: There’s nothing more frustrating than a car that won’t start! Check your car battery is in proper working condition, and also that the terminals are clean. Baking soda can be used to clean these off and assure a strong connection.

4. Be Prepared: Make sure your car is prepared for any emergency or medical situations. Have an emergency kit that you keep in the car that includes items like flashlight, blanket, first-aid kit, and some basic tools. Also, bring water and extra snacks, just in case.

5. Plan Your Trip: Before hitting the road, Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 7.01.08 AMmake sure you have your route planned out, including any stops you may want to make along the way. Consider things like where to get gas, and where to park at any major tourist attractions you may be visiting. Use your phone or a GPS navigation system to map out your route and check for any possible construction or traffic delays so you can plan your trip accordingly.

We hope you enjoyed this post. If there is anything else we can do to help you feel free to call us at (805) 466-2446 (Atascadero) or (805) 239-8752 (Paso Robles). And be sure to stay connected with us on Facebook as well!