As the Fourth of July approaches, many people are preparing for road trips to visit family, attend barbecues, or watch fireworks displays. Ensuring your vehicle is ready for the holiday travel is essential to avoid breakdowns and ensure a smooth journey. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you get your vehicle in top shape for the holiday:

Check Your Tires

  • Tire Pressure: Ensure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can affect handling and fuel efficiency.
  • Tread Depth: Inspect the tread depth of your tires. Use the penny test: insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.
  • Spare Tire: Don’t forget to check the spare tire’s condition and pressure.
  • Need New Tires? Check out AAA member savings at Discount Tire!

Inspect Brakes

  • Brake Pads and Rotors: Listen for any unusual noises when braking and check the brake pads and rotors for wear. If they are worn down, have them replaced.
  • Brake Fluid: Ensure the brake fluid is at the correct level and not contaminated. If needed, have it flushed and replaced.

Fluids & Filters

  • Oil and Filter: Check the oil level and quality. If it’s dirty or you’re due for an oil change, get it done before your trip.
  • Coolant: Make sure the coolant level is adequate and the system is free of leaks. This is crucial to prevent overheating, especially in summer heat.
  • Transmission Fluid: Check the transmission fluid level and condition. Low or dirty fluid can lead to transmission issues.
  • Air Filter: Inspect the air filter and replace it if it’s dirty. A clean air filter improves engine performance and fuel efficiency.

Battery Health

  • Battery Charge: Test your battery on your own or schedule complimentary battery service with AAA. We’ll come to a location convenient for you and test your battery. If the battery needs to be replaced, we’ll install a new one and take the old one to be recycled. a time for AAA to ensure it holds a charge. Alternately, AAA Premium Batteries are available at your local NAPA Auto Parts store or at Enjoy a AAA member discount!
  • Battery Terminals: Clean any corrosion from the terminals and tighten the connections.

Lights and Signals

  • Headlights and Taillights: Ensure all lights, including high beams, brake lights, and turn signals, are functioning.
  • Emergency Flashers: Check the operation of hazard lights.

Wipers and Windshield

  • Wiper Blades: Inspect and replace wiper blades if they are worn or streaking.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid: Fill the washer reservoir and ensure the system operates correctly.

Air Conditioning

  • Cooling System: Test the air conditioning for proper cooling. Check refrigerant levels and inspect for leaks if it’s not cooling effectively.

Emergency Kit

  • Essentials: Pack an emergency kit with a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, tire jack, and a spare tire.
  • Extras: Include bottled water, non-perishable snacks, blankets, and a phone charger.
  • Emergency kits available for purchase at your local AAA Travel Store.

Battery Health and Charging

  • Full Charge: Ensure your EV is fully charged before starting your trip. Plan your route to include charging stations. AAA members enjoy half price charging fees for level II and III chargers at any of our locations as well as a 50% discount off the standard idle time fee.
  • Charging Stations: Use apps like ChargePoint to find charging stations along your route and note their locations.
  • Portable Charger: Carry a portable EV charger for emergencies or call AAA – we can give your vehicle a charge or tow.

Tire Maintenance

  • Tire Pressure: Check tire pressure to ensure it’s at the recommended level for optimal range and safety.
  • Tread Depth: Inspect the tread depth to ensure your tires are in good condition.

Brake Inspection

  • Regenerative Braking: Check the regenerative braking system to ensure it’s functioning correctly, as it helps maintain battery health and extend range.

Fluids and Coolant

  • Coolant Levels: Ensure coolant levels, especially for the battery cooling system, are adequate to prevent overheating.
  • Brake Fluid: Check brake fluid levels and ensure they’re within the recommended range.

Battery Management System (BMS)

  • System Check: Perform a system check through your EV’s interface to ensure the BMS is operating correctly.

Software Updates

  • Latest Firmware: Make sure your EV’s software is up-to-date to benefit from enhancements in battery management and range optimization.

Cabin Comfort

  • Climate Control: Test the air conditioning for efficient cooling. Use preconditioning to cool the cabin while the car is still plugged in to save battery during the drive.

Emergency Kit

  • Essentials: Pack an emergency kit similar to that of a fuel vehicle, including a portable EV charger.
  • Additional Items: Include a tire repair kit, bottled water, snacks, blankets, and a phone charger.

Plan Your Route

Driving Safety

  • Seat Belts and Car Seats: Ensure all seat belts and car seats are functioning and properly installed.
  • Driver Preparedness: Get plenty of rest before your trip and plan for regular breaks to avoid fatigue. Share driving responsibilities if possible.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Learn more here.

Fuel Up or Charge Up

  • Full Tank or Charge: For fuel vehicles, fill up your gas tank before hitting the road. For EVs, ensure a full charge and know the locations of charging stations along your route.
  • AAA members who join Shell Fuel Rewards save 30 cents per gallon on their first fill-up and then 5 cents per gallon after that. Plus, get automatic Gold Status! Join today here.

You're Road Trip Ready!
By following these steps, you can ensure that both your fuel and electric vehicles are ready for road trips, allowing you to enjoy your journey with peace of mind. Safe travels and happy adventures!