I do love a road trip, but I also hate driving. Bit of a weird one, isn’t it? I’m also not very car savvy, so worry about things going wrong if I’m planning on having a road trip. Luckily Tim Miller has shared this post with me about tools you should keep in your car for your summer road trip.
Are you prepared for your summer trips?
Summer trips are all fun! Cool breezes, drinks, food, and friends, amongst other things. These trips involve travelling, so it’s always worth making sure that you’re well-prepared before you set off your journey.
In this article, I’m going to share with you 10 must-have tools to have in your car that will keep your trip safe and stress-free. We will look at: what car problems you may experience during this time, what you should pack in your car and some essential items that everyone needs when they go on summer trips.
Common Car Problems You Can Have During Summer Trips
Summer is a great time. People are looking for fun activities to get into. Coming just after spring, summer trips with just t-shirts on is something everybody looks forward to. But, this period comes with its fair share of car breakdowns. And, the summer heat has something to do with that.
Be sure you know how to Look After Your Car On A Road Trip
Common car problems experienced during this time include:
The hotter it is, the higher the chance of evaporation of battery fluid, reducing the battery’s efficiency. You can easily take care of this. Check on your battery before trips and add enough coolant to the car. Also, carry extra just in case.
Summer heat can have some negative effects on tyres. Due to temperature changes, air expands and contracts in the tyre, causing it to lose pressure. This irregular change in pressure can lead to wear and tear, possibly causing car imbalance.
Faulty AC System
In as much as you want to soak up the sun on your trip, you also want a cool atmosphere in your car. And your AC system is supposed to provide that. But what happens when your AC is faulty because there is a problem with the condenser? It can be detrimental to your health. And it can be especially harmful if you or one of the passengers has low blood pressure or arthritis problems.
Engine problems during summer are common. They do not have to be directly related to the heat. It can be an indirect response to something else such as a broken-down cooling system! For engine problems, it is advisable to call a trusted mechanic.
Worn Wiper Blades
You get to use your wiper blades during the summer rains and coming after spring rains; this is a somewhat long period of regular use. This can cause damage to them and leave them working in a faulty manner. Faulty working wiper blades will leave debris on your windshield, which can then cause damage such as cracks.
10 Must-Have Tools To Keep In Your Car For Summer Trips
As we have seen above, you can experience mechanical problems with your car on your trips. So you need to be prepared. And with summer trips, a lot can happen, you can have a car breakdown and decide to camp where it happened, or you can meet another group of people and decide to make a little detour. So, you need to be well equipped to deal with anything that could happen.
Below are must-have tools that we suggest you have in your car.
One of the most important tools you should carry on a road trip is the tow strap. This comes in handy in case your car breaks during your trip, and there are no nearby garages or auto shops, or even a mechanic who you can call on. With a tow strap, you can ask for help from other drivers on the road. They can tow your car to a nearby town, service centre, etc., any place where you can have your car fixed.
Tow straps can come in handy when you need to tow your car to a nearby service centre.
As mentioned earlier, the summer heat can harm your battery. Your battery may end up weak or dead. And with jumper cables, you can easily sort out this problem. All you need is another car or secondary battery to use for jumpstarting your car.
Jumper cables will save you when your car battery is suddenly dead on the road.
An air compressor is a must-have on summer trips, whether you are on tarmacked roads or remote ones. There is always a chance that your car could get a puncture or the tyre could get a leak. The air compressor comes in great use at this point. It is used to refill your tyres.
Plus, it can always be used to fill balloons or play with. It’s summer, remember, all fun!
Tyre Pressure Gauge
First things first! Before even starting on your journey, measure your car tyre pressure, and if it’s low, refill it. As I had mentioned earlier in the article, during summer, tyre pressure fluctuates a lot. So make it a habit to measure your tyre before you embark on your next adventure.
Tyre gauges are not expensive and are available at your nearby auto shops.
OBD2 Scan Tool
An OBD2 scan tool is essential, not only for summer but always, in all seasons. It helps you keep tabs on the health of your car by measuring how its systems are functioning.
With OBD2 tools, you can check on the health of systems such as your engine or airbag system. You should know the health of these and others before and during the trip. This way, you are always ahead of anything that can go wrong with the car.
A more convenient choice for you to scan your car for diagnostics is getting an OBD2 app on your phone. That way, you can turn your smartphone into a professional OBD2 scanner. All you need to keep in your car now is an OBD2 adapter, much more compact and lightweight compared to traditional OBD2 scanners.
Self-Fusing Silicone Tape
Self-fusing silicone tape can come in handy in a variety of ways during a trip. And there is an advantage to using this as it is are strong, waterproof, and can insulate electrical cables.
Summer can be windy and dusty depending on where you are and with trips, your car is exposed to a lot of changing locations. Your car battery is something you should take care of. Amongst the ways you can use the self-fusing silicone tape is by insulating your battery terminals.
High summer heat can also affect your vehicle’s belts and hoses, and so you can also use the silicone as emergency repair before you come across a mechanic to sort out the issue for you.
Having a clean car interior is as important as having a healthy engine, especially if you are a group of people during your summer escapades, as some may need to sleep in the car. Also, during the trips, you are sure to pick up dirt and other forms of debris. This is why a small handheld vacuum is important. With it, you can clean your car seats and carpets. This ensures your car is clean for the safety and health of you and your passengers.
Bungee cords should be in your car no matter the season. But on summer trips, this is a must-have tool. They come in handy in a variety of ways. They also work in place of other things. You can tie them between trees and use them as a hanging line. They can also be used when pitching tents as an alternative to tie-downs. And also, you can use it if your battery dies down in the hard hand-cranking method.
Imagine going for a hike and getting lost in the woods, or losing direction on a new road just as darkness is kicking in. To deal with it, you should have a GPS device, and there are plenty in the market at affordable prices.
With one, you will manage to navigate yourself out of or into any location.
In as much as summer trips sound fun and positive, you just cannot know when you may need medical help or assistance. And so, it is advisable to have a fully stocked first aid kit with the requirements of those on the trip with you, in summer and other seasons.
Tips For Car Maintenance Before Summer Road Trips
Do not let the excitement of what may happen prevent you from checking on your car to ensure that it is in top form. If you are not that ‘mechanically’ savvy, take your car to a reliable mechanic and make them check on the following for you:
- The health of your car battery
- Change the oil
- The health of your tyres
- Other fluids, e.g. Coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, etc
- Ensure that your air conditioning works
- Check on the visibility status of your car headlights
- Check on your brakes
Just make sure that all the systems in your car work and function properly, and get yourself the OBD2 scan tool to be able to check on the car by yourself.
Make sure you know how to Check Your Car Before A Road Trip
Summer Road Tripping
With so many great destinations in the UK, Europe and elsewhere, it’s hard to know where to start! But not all trips need be journeys that take you far from home; some of them can involve spending more time with friends and family close by. Whether it’s a day out or an overnight stay, make sure you are ready, and your car is in optimum health. By having the 10 must-have tools mentioned in this article before setting off on your adventure, we guarantee that both your journey and destination will go smoothly, and hopefully even impressively! And should there be a hitch, you will sort it out!