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Dream Journey: How to Prepare for a Summer Road Trip

Traveling by car brings a lot of emotions. It is more comfortable and less expensive, especially if you travel with a family or a big company. Some people prefer traveling by their everyday car, while others buy a travel van in anticipation of life-on-the-wheels romance. However, to avoid unforeseen situations on the road, any vehicle, whether a crossover or a camper van, must be carefully prepared. Even a technically sound and new car needs checking before a long journey.

Checking the technical condition of the car

It is easier to travel in summer than winter, but experienced mechanics from Indy Auto Man warn that one should never skip maintenance before a long journey. They offer a checklist of necessary preparations and explain what to expect when scheduling a visit to a service.


If the engine is running poorly, and there is doubt that it will be able to overcome a solid distance, it is better to undergo a diagnosis. Plan an engine check a few weeks before departure to have time to correct the problems found.

Level and quality of technical fluids

If the car has been serviced long ago, it is better to change the engine oil. When moving at high speed, the consumption of lubricant increases. Replace oil and air filters if necessary to protect engine parts from wear. Take 1 or 5 liters of the required engine oil for topping up. Evaluate the brake and hydraulic fluid, gearbox oil, and fluid in the windshield washer reservoir.

Brake system

Driving safety depends on the serviceability of the brake system, especially at high speeds. Check the condition of the brake pads and discs. If necessary, replace them.

Tire condition check

Pay attention to the condition of the tires, especially if you have been using rubber for more than one season. The remaining tread depth must be greater than 0.06 inches. If the wear on the rubber is high, the baffles will begin to wear out. Old rubber gradually dries out, and cracks may appear on the rim. When moving at high speed, such a tire may burst.

Inspect the tires for defects: bumps and scuffs. Check tire pressure. Set it to the level you need to ride on the highway – about 2-3 units higher than regular. Tire pressure can be monitored using a pressure gauge. The car with the correct tire pressure will drive well and not consume too much fuel.

On the road, check the tire pressure every 300 miles. If planning a long trip, take a second and third spare wheel. Sometimes two wheels break through the pits at once.

Suspension and chassis

Outside a big city like Indianapolis, you may encounter bad roads. If the suspension or running gear parts are worn out, they may fail while traveling. Checking the chassis and suspension should be carried out in a car service on a lift. If mechanics find backlashes and leaks, the parts will require replacement.

Check and adjust wheel alignment and wheel balance. If you do not solve problems with wheel alignment, the car may lose control. In the best case, you will return from a trip with badly worn tires.


Determine the level of electrolyte in the battery and the charging. Also, study the density of the electrolyte. If the terminals are dirty, they should be cleaned. You can take a launcher with you on the road. If the battery is too old, it’s best to replace it.

Air conditioner

In hot weather, the air conditioner will operate at full. If it has not been serviced for a long time, it is advisable to fill the freon and check the system for leaks. After all, the refrigerant evaporates even in the sealed system. When the level drops, the device cannot work correctly. You can also add oil to freon – it is responsible for lubricating the compressor. If the oil level is low, the compressor may fail. Check the condition of the compressor drive belt. If there is damage, the element must be replaced.


Check headlights. See how the high and low beam lights are burning. Evaluate the work of turning, fog, emergency, and brake lights. The long journey involves night crossings. The optics must be cleaned of dust and dirt. If necessary, replace the lamps.


Pay attention to the condition of the wipers, especially if you will be moving around during the rainy season: worn-out ones should be replaced. Otherwise, deposits may form on the windshield, impairing driving safety.

Check windows and mirrors. If there are damages that can adversely affect the safety of movement, it is better to replace them. Take along a liquid that removes insects from the side mirrors and windshield.

Any responsible driver understands the importance of preparing the car before a summer trip. This will make the adventure comfortable and enjoyable and help avoid accidents and other undesirable situations. Experts remind us: checking the vehicle’s technical condition must be performed regularly, not only before a long trip. And it is best to rely on professional mechanics – specialists will carry out all the necessary procedures, and you will save time. The Indy Auto Man team wishes you safe and enjoyable trips!

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