With the summer arriving, many people are embarking on exciting road trips. Whether it be across the state or across the country, your car should be in top shape before heading away from home. There’s nothing more stressful than being stranded on an unfamiliar road. Before you leave, make sure you check the following things on your car.

Reliable Battery: Charge and Clean

Check the charge on your battery to make sure it has a full charge. If there is any indication that it is not holding a charge or recharging the way it should, it would be wise to replace the battery. Check the terminals and nodes as well for any corrosion or dirt. Baking soda and water is a great at-home mixture that effectively and safely cleans off car batteries.

Proper Brake Function

Don’t get caught without a reliable brake system on those treacherous highways. Check your brakes and brake pads. If they are making any noise or showing signs of corrosion, have them replaced before you leave town.

Tires: Tread and Air Pressure

You never know what type of weather you’ll run into on your journey. Weather is highly variable, so you’ll want to be prepared for whatever may come. The best way to stay prepared for bad weather is to make sure your tires have plenty of tread. To check for this, use the old quarter trick: put a quarter into the tread upside-down. If the President’s head is visible, your tires are low on tread and need replacing. You should also check tire pressure. Reference the car’s owner’s manual for the proper amount of pressure. It is also sometimes written on the tire itself.

General Maintenance Under the Hood

Check all of your fluid levels. Fill them to the maximum level for optimal preparedness. When is the last time your oil was changed? If it is getting close to time to change the oil again, go ahead and change it before leaving. Engine health is the main thing keeping your car running. Ace Automotive Repair also recommends having your car serviced for an overall check by a mechanic. There’s a lot going on under the hood, and unless you are a mechanic yourself, there are several things that you would probably not notice.

Long road trips are a great option for a fun vacation, but stay safe this summer by performing a check of all your car’s systems. Drive safe and have fun.

Savannah Coulsen is a freelanceĀ  writer. She lives in Raleigh. Savannah loves to read and write and she hopes to write a novel someday. Savannah also loves learning and is a self-proclaimed health guru. Savannah got information for this article fromĀ  Ace Automotive Repair.