With gas prices low and health concerns high, more people will rely on road trips rather than flying to treat their cabin fever. According to a new survey by the U.S. Travel Association in partnership with MMGY Travel Intelligence:
- 67% of travelers are likely to travel by personal car during the next 6 months. That’s more than double the percentage planning to travel by air during the next 6 months.
- One in three travelers by personal car is willing to drive 300 miles or more one-way and one in five is willing to travel 500 miles or more.
No matter the distance, your Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) suggest travelers use the following checklist to prepare or have a certified mechanic perform a vehicle inspection.
Road Trip Checklist
- Check fluids, wipers, hoses and belts
Make sure engine oil, brake, transmission and power steering fluids are at safe levels.
- Check wipers, belts and hoses
Rubber windshield wiper blades deteriorate faster in the dry heat.
Inspect and replace any cracked or brittle belts and hoses.
- Check battery
Heat evaporates battery fluids, which can speed up corrosion.
- Check air conditioning
If it’s running a little warm, you might be low in refrigerant or have a loose drive belt. It could also be clogged valves or filters, slow leads in components or hoses or clogs in the condenser.
- Check tires
According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, 85 percent of drivers don’t know how to properly inflate their tires. Check pressure when the car has been idle and tires are cool and use the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, typically found on the driver side door jamb.
Inspect tires for cuts and sidewall bulges and inspect tread. The minimum acceptable tread depth is 3/32 inch, which is about the distance from the edge of a penny to the top of Lincoln’s head.
- Check turn signals, headlights, and brake lights.
- Considering packing extra masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.
- Carry water, jumper cables, a flashlight, first-aid kit, reflective warning triangles, and an umbrella for shade if you need to exit your vehicle.
- Never let your gas tank fall below one-quarter. If you’re traveling in remote areas, it’s a good idea to keep the tank half-full. If you’re stranded you want to be able to run the a/c until help arrives.