Whether you want to take a cross country adventure with friends or take your family on a journey along historic Route 66, road trips are an essential part of summer travel. But to help everyone have a safer trip, we checked in with one of the mechanics who answers your automotive questions on JustAnswer, Kyle Northrop. Kyle is certified Master ASE Technician and has been an Expert on JustAnswer since 2006. Here are some of his must-know tips before you pack your trunk, step on the gas and go on the long drive.
- Check your vehicles fluid levels: oil, coolant, brake fluid, washer fluid.
- Make sure your tire pressure is correct; most vehicles have the tire pressure on the driver’s door jam. And don’t forget to check the spare!
- Make certain you have a lug wrench, jack and wheel lock key (if equipped on your vehicle) in your tool kit or trunk area. Most vehicles come with them, but it’s better to check now rather than stranded on the side of the road if you get a flat.
- Take along a pair of battery jumper cables and a small gas can.
What to do if you have a problem on the road:
- If your vehicle overheats, try turning on the heater. The heater will help cool down the engine until you can get to a service station.
- If a tire blows while driving, do not slam on the brakes! Continue to steer straight and reduce your throttle, and slowly make your way off the road. Braking hard will cause loss of control.
- Is your check engine light on? Unless it’s flashing, continue on until you can get it checked. If it’s flashing, pull over and shut the vehicle down as soon as possible to avoid damaging the vehicle.
We hope you all have a safe trip this summer, but just in case you have any difficulties on the way you can always ask a mechanic your car questions when you are on the road by checking out the JustAnswer site on your mobile (just go to www.justanswer.com if your phone has Internet access) and if you are checking out the site with your iPhone or Palm Pre, check out our newer, sleeker version. Happy driving!