Summer vacation: Is your car ready? - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Summer vacation: Is your car ready?

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

As we begin planning those much-needed summer vacations, it is important to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape before hitting the road to travel.

AAA is offering tips to prevent road-side emergencies, and it all comes down to planning ahead.

Car Maintenance:

  • Consider having your car checked by an automotive technician before a long trip. An ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure.
  • Check the tires regularly for uneven or excessive tread wear. Make sure all items, including the spare, are inflated properly. Do at least one check BEFORE hitting the road, as tires hot from driving give inaccurate inflation readings.
  • Check the coolant level and condition, making certain the proper 50/50 mixture of water and coolant is present.
  • Check the level and condition of the engine oil. If driving under extreme conditions – such as very hot summer weather or pulling a heavy trailer – you may want to consider switching to an oil with higher viscosity. Check your owner's manual for specific recommendations.
  • Look for worn, cracked, blistered or soft belts or hoses. Always perform this check with the engine off.
  • Hot weather can shorten the life of a car's battery – if there's concern, have it tested by a qualified automotive technician

Travel Planning:

  • Carry an emergency kit with a flashlight, extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit and extra water.
  • Don't let the gas level get below one-quarter of a tank.
  • Select your route on a map ahead of time and study it to know exactly where you're going.
  • Reserve all accommodations in advance.
  • Lock your car when you leave it and keep valuables out of sight.
  • Secure children and adults in safety seats, booster seats or seat belts as required by law.
  • Bring books, games, or music for the ride, and a pillow so passengers can sleep.
  • Bring information on your destination to make the most of your trip.

You can find more travel advice on AAA.com.