If vacation-time means a road trip, a few simple preparations can keep you safe and out of trouble.
Under the hood:
Check all fluids, including oil, coolant, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid. Check the air filter. Check the battery.
The tires and the spare:
The owner’s manual, or your online car health guide, will tell you what the tire pressure should be. Make sure tires are properly inflated. That goes for the spare, too. Imagine the trouble this could save.
Inspect the tires to make sure there is enough tread. The old penny in the tread trick should work: Hold the penny so that Lincoln’s head is upside down and facing you. If you can see his whole head, it’s time to replace the tire.
Lights and signals:
Besides the obvious safety issues, proper lights and signals are just one more reason why you won’t get a ticket — or a nasty look from other drivers.
At an absolute minimum, make sure you have the tools to change a tire.
But also consider carrying a spare, fully charged cell phone and battery-powered phone charger, drinking water, a gas can, and a flashlight. It is not a bad idea to carry an emergency reflective triangle and a flare; especially useful if you will be going into back country.
Just in case:
Do you have a spare key accessible from outside the car? What about jumper cables? A bowl so that Fido can have a drink? How about a rain poncho?
Take your license, proof of insurance and registration.
Customer Service Representative
1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive
Conway, AR 72032