By Brian Rose
With one of the biggest travel weekends of the year upon us, it’s officially summer road trip season! This Fourth of July weekend, AAA projects over 41.9 million Americans will travel for the holiday – the highest number since 2007. Of those, over 85 percent of Americans will be traveling via car.
Before you brave the holiday traffic, make sure your car is road-ready with these tips from Brian Rose of Kaufmann Tire
1. Penny Test: Start where your car meets the road, your tires! Proper tread depth is crucial to maintaining control on the road, particularly during unexpected summer downpours. Testing your tread depth is quick and easy, and all you need is a penny. With this video demonstration from Michelin, simply hold Lincoln’s body between your thumb and forefinger and stick the penny upside down into the grooves. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you’re below the legal and safe tread amount, and it’s time to get new tires.
2. Pressure Check: Tires don’t carry the weight of your vehicle, the pressure inside them does. Underinflated tires offer less traction, can reduce fuel efficiency and wear out prematurely. Don’t forget to check the air in your spare!
3. Check your fluids: A quick look under the hood can go a long way to ensure your car stays healthy. Be sure to check all fluids, including your engine oil, coolant and transmission fluid.
4. Test your battery: According to AAA, dead batteries are one of the most common reasons for stranded motorists. The intense summer heat can kill an older battery, so be sure to test it and make sure it’s in working order.
5. Carry an emergency kit: Even the most experienced drivers will come up on unexpected detours, especially with summer road construction. Carrying an emergency kit in your car with items such as jumper cables, a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries and extra water will ensure you’re prepared for any unpleasant surprises on the road.