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Is your car ready for a road trip?

Rose White • Mar 27, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Spring break is a time when hoards of Michiganders pack up the family car, truck or SUV and drive somewhere warm.

Tarren Peake, office manager at Tri-Cities Auto Repair in Spring Lake, gave some advice on how to ensure your vehicle is ready for the grueling drive.

“I would suggest getting a full vehicle inspection,” she said.

A full vehicle inspection entails a technician doing a road test, examining the outside of the car and looking under the hood. They will typically check the lights, tire condition, fluids, shocks and struts, brakes and brake pads, the battery, and the exhaust.

“Then they will make a recommendation on what needs to be done before that customer goes on a road trip,” Peake said. “It’s always good to be educated. If you bring your vehicle in, we will educate you on what you will need before you leave.”

Every car is different, so Peake said recommendations will vary based on its condition.

Drivers might consider putting in a fuel or transmission additive while on a long drive, but Peake said that might not be necessary.

“It depends on the vehicle itself,” she said.

Peake recommends talking to a technician about the car and its condition to determine if any additives are necessary.

“Also, check the spare tire,” she said. “Do I have a special lug nut? Does my car come equipped with a jack? Am I able to service a flat tire by myself?”

Spring break is just around the corner, so there’s not much time left to make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey.

“Bring it in at least a week or two before vacation,” Peake suggests. “There is time to prepare the inspection report and leave the car at a repair shop, if necessary.”

Peake’s final recommendation: Get an emergency kit with jumper cables, blankets and even water in order to be prepared for any emergencies that may occur during your trip.

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