Planning a road trip this summer? Well, you won’t be the only one. According to a recent Jiffy Lube International survey, our less-than-stellar economy has about 71% of travelers planning to jump into their car for a road trip. But it’s important to know your stuff and make sure to be car savvy before hitting the road, as AAA also announced that an anticipated 7.3 million drivers will experience car troubles this summer. Check out the quick checklist to make sure your car doesn’t leave you stranded—and seriously pissed—on the way to your vacation:
- Check your engine oil and filter. Read your owner’s manual to see how often you should change them and use your car’s recommended grade oil to improve your gas mileage by up to 2%.
- Make sure your wiper blades are clean. Wipe dirt off with a paper towel and check for cracks and tears.
- Like Obama said, keep tires pumped. You’ll increase gas mileage by around 3.3% by checking your tire pressure and keeping them properly inflated (the recommended pressure will be in your vehicle’s owner manual, the door jamb or the glove compartment door). Oh, and don’t forget to inspect the spare!
- Check the air conditioning. An open window will only cool you off so much – especially if you’re stuck in traffic. Make sure your system is in top shape before you drive off into the sweltering sun.
- Clean your engine air filter. Ensuring clean air gets to your engine will also increase fuel efficiency.
- Prepare for an emergency. Either buy a vehicle emergency kit or create your own by keeping bottled water, a flashlight, flares, duct tape, an extra cell phone, energy bars, a blanket and a can of Fix-a-Flat in your trunk for those unexpected breakdowns.