Fastlane

July 2, 2014

5 Quick Tips for Summer Road Trips

Packing and planning for a summer road trip is important, but don't forget about the safety of your vehicle. Make sure you've checked these five things before you hit the road this summer.

After a record-breaking cold winter, many people can’t wait to take advantage of warmer summer temperatures. Road trips are the perfect way to get out of the house, find an adventure, and create memories with friends and family.  To ensure your next summer trip goes as smoothly as possible, two weeks before your planned travel take your vehicle in to a GM Certified Service Center or a certified mechanic for a routine inspection.  Let them know exactly how many miles your vehicle will be traveling.  This is important in determining whether or not your vehicle is ready for the journey.  Once the vehicle checks out, consider these ideas to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.

1. Plan the Route
While technology does make turn-by-turn directions simple, you might want to jot down a few ideas on paper before you depart. Research the street addresses of places you want to visit and enter them into your navigation system, if possible, or find them on a map.  This will save you time and prevent you from having to pull off the road to look for an address when you really need it. Visualize all of the landmarks you want to see, and think about the best way to get there. Navigation systems may bypass scenic routes if there is a faster route.  It is also a good idea to set your navigation system to display nearby landmarks and filling stations.

2. The Essentials
Packing and preparing for trips can be stressful, but there are a few items (other than your license and registration) you definitely don’t want to forget. Your cell phone, a first aid kit, charger, and map/GPS, are small things that can make a huge difference in the success of your road trip. A car-battery operated air compressor, jumper cables and a road flare or two are also great to have on hand in case of an emergency. If you’re traveling with passengers, bringing games and entertainment can make the time pass more quickly. If your GM vehicle is equipped with OnStar 4G LTE, you can connect up to seven mobile devices, including laptops, tablets and smartphones, to the vehicle’s built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. It works both inside and outside the vehicle, so passengers can watch movies, browse the web, or upload photos while traveling, and everyone can stay connected once you arrive at your destination.

 

3. Check the Pressure
After you’ve loaded up your kayak, fishing gear, and cooler full of food, you’ll want to make sure your tires are ready to roll. Check the tire inflation and pressure label on the inside of the driver door for the correct PSI requirements for regular and spare tires (if equipped). Be sure to fill all tires to their specifications and ensure that they are holding the correct amount of air. It is also helpful to do a quick sight check for embedded objects or worn-down treads.

4. Breathe Easy
No matter how long you are going to be in the car, you need to make sure that both you and your car are breathing clean air. Have your cabin and vehicle air filters checked or replaced to ensure that they are up for the journey. A clear air filter in your engine helps improve fuel efficiency while a clean cabin air filter helps remove allergens, smog and other pollutants from the air you breathe while inside the car.

5. Can You See?
A quick test in the driveway will tell you if your windshield wipers, blinkers, headlights, and brake lights are working properly. These four things are vital to the safety of you and others on the road. Be sure to fill up on windshield wiper fluid and have any broken lights replaced!  Make sure the view from your in-car rearview mirror is not obstructed by suitcases, pillows, or other items that you have packed for the trip.

If you’ve completed this checklist, you should be ready to hit the road. The most important thing is to relax, but stay awake and rest when you are tired. Make your time away from home memorable and enjoy the ride.

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