Category Archives: summer road trip car tips

30 Tips for a Safe (and Fun!) Road Trip

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Family in convertible car smiling when spring car maintenance is doneIt’s time for summer road trips! Summer road trips are an experience to look forward to and talk about for years to come—not a time for inconvenient car and truck breakdowns! Want to make your summer road trip an epic adventure to one of our awesome Wisconsin destinations (Door County, Apostle Islands, Lake Michigan beach, Brewer game, etc.) or an out-of-state trip that everyone remembers? Use these tips to get your vehicle ready and running from the moment you leave until you pull back into the driveway.

Before departure

  1. Check the oil level (use this video); car engines run rough and can die prematurely if low on oil.
  2. Pack an emergency road kit with these supplies.
  3. Carry oil and windshield washer along for emergency fill-ups.
  4. Make sure you a phone charger in the car so you don’t get stranded.
  5. Pack a first aid kit.
  6. Schedule an oil change.
  7. Have your brakes checked.
  8. Check the tires to ensure there is enough tread using the penny trick.
  9. Fill up windshield washer.
  10. Check headlights to ensure they are working.
  11. If towing, check the trailer lights to ensure they all function properly.
  12. Make sure directional and brake lights work.
  13. Verify and double check child safety seats to ensure they are installed properly.
  14. Do a quick refresher course on where the spare tire is located and how to change a tire.
  15. Make sure you have the phone number for your roadside service (in your phone and on a card).

On the road

  1. Fuel up often; you never know when there won’t be another gas station between stops.
  2. Check vehicle fluid levels every time you fill up.
  3. Pack road games and fun activities for kids as you drive.
  4. Stay up-to-date on changing weather conditions so you don’t get stuck in severe weather.
  5. Pack water and snacks so you are hydrated and in good physical condition as you drive.
  6. If towing, periodically check the towing hitch.
  7. Follow all road signs carefully.
  8. Know where you are going so you don’t make frantic lane changes or cause an accident.
  9. Try to avoid pulling over on the side of the road, which can cause accidents.
  10. Allow more stopping distance in front of you, especially when in an unfamiliar area.
  11. Take frequent breaks or switch drivers so you are not driving tired.
  12. Don’t mix high speed and alcohol in your road trip, which increases your chance for accidents.

When you get home

  1. Check all vehicle fluids and refill as needed.
  2. Schedule an oil change (if needed).
  3. Restock the emergency road kit and first kit (if needed).