Summer Car Safety
With long-distance vacations put on-hold for now, many families are rediscovering the joy of a road trip. Whether it’s a day-long adventure, a local camping trip or a weeklong getaway, it can feel great—especially after so long at home—to get out and explore the area in a safe, socially distanced way.
But if you’re planning a summer drive, it’s important to first be sure your car is in shape for the ride—especially if it’s spent more time than usual parked in the garage. Before you hit the road, make sure your car is up to the task.
Check the fluids
Check your coolant, and make sure your other fluids are at proper levels. This includes your oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid and wiper fluid.
Keep your tires at the correct pressure
Your tires can overheat when under-inflated. When the temperature is high, this may even lead to the increased likelihood of a blowout. Consult your owner’s manual for your car’s correct tire pressure, then check and inflate to the proper amount during a cooler part of the day.
Change your cabin air filter
If you’ve never taken a look at your cabin air filter before, be ready for a cringe-worth sight. It’s a simple DIY replacement, however, or one you can easily add to your next oil change. Remember that when the air conditioning is running, you’re breathing whatever comes through the cabin air filter. Keeping it clean will not only keep your car interior cleaner, it will help your AC system run more efficiently.
Check your battery
Before you make a long trip or head to a remote area, have your car battery tested. You’ll also want to look for signs of corrosion at the terminals. After letting your car sit longer than usual, don’t get stuck with a drained battery.
Be sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle—ideally one tailored to the time of year. You’ll want to have jumper cables, a usable spare tire and a changing kit for sure, but also consider a supply of water, sunscreen and bug spray, a flashlight and comfortable shoes.
Keeps kids heat safe
The metal parts of car seats and seatbelts can easily become hot to the touch. Protect your child’s skin when buckling up. Also, with temperatures rising, be sure you never leave a child inside a car—even for a moment. Temperatures can climb to deadly levels in no time. Keep your car locked even when it’s parked at home. This ensures that no curious kids find their way inside to play and can’t get out.
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