How to get your car road trip ready

Before you hit the road this summer, mechanics urge you to get your car evaluated to avoid any...
Before you hit the road this summer, mechanics urge you to get your car evaluated to avoid any unnecessary expenses and stress.(Christian Piekos)
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 5:48 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Millions of Americans are expected to hit the road this summer for vacation, especially as COVID-19 restrictions loosen and travel begins to return to pre-pandemic levels. But before packing the family in the van, making sure the car is in working order could save you time and money.

KSLA checked in with mechanics at Southern Automotive in Shreveport to discuss some tips you can use to make sure the car is in good, working order.

“Preventive maintenance can save you a lot of hassle,” said Dax Ulrich, a mechanic at Southern Auto. “I always feel bad when I’m driving or traveling and I see someone broken down on the side of the road because of something that could have been prevented.”

Before taking a trip, Ulrich suggests making sure fluid levels are topped off, tires are properly filled with air, and brakes function properly. Ulrich says if any aspect of your vehicle causes you concern, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“Anything that makes you feel like your car is unsafe, get that checked right away,” Ulrich explained.

Allstate also offers these pieces of advice:

  • Check your car’s battery
  • Make sure lights and electrical equipment are working
  • Inspect belts and hoses

Before departing, Ulrich also urges you to make sure your spare tire is fully inflated and to verify that you have the equipment necessary to change one.

“You’d be surprised how many times people check and their spare tire is flat, or their jack is not in their car, or their lug wrench isn’t in the car,” Ulrich said. “There they are with as something as simple as a flat tire and they are broken down waiting on AAA to put a tire on for them.”

Getting your car road trip ready does not have to be a stressful task. Ulrich says business at Southern Auto has increased, but getting your car checked out before you leave could prevent unintended stress down the road.

Ulrich says a vehicle check normally takes between an hour and 90 minutes.

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