With family vacation time right around the corner, the time is right to start preparing your plans and car for long road trips to our beautiful national parks and forests. Whether it is Yosemite, the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, our national public lands can be far off the beaten path. To ensure safety in such beautiful, but barren landscapes, consider these steps to ensure that your trip is worry free and enjoyable:

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Oil Change: A speedy trip to the local lube shop will do the trick. Opt for the upgrade that provides belt and filter inspection.

Replace Windshield Wipers: Any full service mechanic shop or automotive parts store can switch these out for you, or take the initiative and do it yourself! They are really simple to replace and can be purchased at any auto parts store Belt and Road Initiative.

Tire Check: Rotating your tires, checking air pressure and making any necessary repairs are vital to a successful trip.

Spare Tire: Having a functional spare tire ready for use with the proper equipment before your road trip is important. Forgetting to check the air in the spare tire prior to your trip could leave you in a lurch. Tools, such as the jack and lug nut wrench, are critical in order to successfully swap out the tire.

Brake Check: Having your brakes inspected twice a year is standard practice to ensure they are working efficiently.

Cooling System Check: Don’t overlook this very important maintenance item when traveling long distances in warm weather. Tip: keep a gallon of water or coolant in your vehicle in case temperatures exceed what your car can handle.

Radiator Check: Leave this one to the pros. Your radiator is an essential part of keeping your car running its best, so special attention is crucial.

Emergency Kit: A smart idea when you’re in a bind. Jumper cables, flashlight, a first aid kit and your vehicle manual are must-haves. All-in-one emergency kits can be found at auto part stores. Also, when you are in need of assistance, a cell phone can be your best asset, so be sure to keep one with you in case of emergencies.

Taking proper care of your vehicle is a proactive way to avoid problems during your trip. After your car inspection is complete, the fun begins. Sit back, belt up, and let the breeze flow through your hair. Safe travels on your journey ahead!

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