Check Your Wheels and Windows Before Hitting the Road for Summer Vacation

Your summer vacation can quickly turn from relaxing to relentless if you experience car trouble on your road trip. A breakdown on the side of the highway can completely derail your scheduled plans, or it can put you and your traveling companions in harm's way. That's why it's important to check out your car and ensure everything is in tip-top shape before you set off this summer.

Your best bet is to have your car professionally serviced before you take your trip. That way you know everything has been inspected inside and out. However, as long as you already follow the suggested service schedule for your vehicle, it may not be necessary to make a special trip to the mechanic. In either case, you should carefully check the tire pressure and the condition of the windows before you hit the road.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Your tires are perhaps the single most important component of your car in terms of safety and performance. After all, the rubber on your wheels is the only thing that connects your vehicle to the road and gives you control over its motion. Improperly inflated tires, whether the pressure is too low or too high, will compromise the way your car handles and negatively impact its fuel economy or driving range.

For most cars, the manufacturer's suggested tire pressure will be printed on the inside of the door jamb. Alternatively, you can find the information in your vehicle owner's manual. Use a reliable pressure gauge to check the pressure in each tire, and add or remove air as necessary. Be as precise as possible because even just a few psi can have a discernible impact on handling and performance.

Check Your Windows and Fix Any Cracks, Chips, or Damage

A damaged car window can also bring your vacation to a halt. Worse, a shattered windshield can instantly and unexpectedly create an extremely unsafe driving situation. That's why you should carefully inspect your windshield along with all side and rear windows for any signs of cracks, chips, or other damage.

Even a tiny crack will have the tendency to spread, while small chips can compromise the structural integrity of the entire glass panel. The last place that you want the glass to give out is while driving at high speeds on the freeway a long distance from home.

Before you head on your summer trip, have any window damage repaired by an auto glass repair company.