A Guide to Preparing Your Car for a Summer Adventure

Shipping Your Car in the Summer | Number 1 Auto Transport

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As summer approaches, many Americans are gearing up for road trips and outdoor adventures. 

According to a survey by Driven Brands in April 2023, approximately two-thirds of consumers had already taken one or more trips. Within this group, 71% used their car as their primary mode of transportation. The survey, which included 1,057 American vehicle owners, highlighted the growing trend of personal vehicle use for travel. While the data pertains to last year, it highlights the enduring popularity of road trips.

This guide will equip you with the steps necessary to ensure your car is in top shape for your summer explorations. We’ll cover essential maintenance checks, summer-specific considerations, packing and storage tips, and additional pointers.

1. Vehicle Maintenance Check

A thorough vehicle maintenance check is crucial before you hit the road for summer adventures. They should include the following:

Oil and fluid levels: Just like our bodies need fluids to function properly, so does your car. Checking engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer levels and topping them off if necessary is a simple but essential task.

Tire condition: Ensure proper tire pressure as recommended in your owner’s manual for optimal safety and performance. Uneven pressure can affect handling and fuel efficiency. Additionally, inspect the tread depth of all tires, including the spare. Consider a tire rotation if needed to ensure even wear.

Battery health: A dead battery can quickly derail your summer plans. Visually inspect the battery for corrosion on the terminals. You can also test the battery at a service center to assess its overall health and charge. Remember, even a relatively new battery can fail unexpectedly so that a quick check can save you a roadside headache.

Brake inspection: Listen for unusual grinding noises or a soft brake pedal while driving. These could be signs of worn-out brake pads or other problems. Don’t wait for a complete brake failure. Schedule a professional inspection to ensure safe stopping power on your summer adventures.

While these maintenance checks are essential for any vehicle, it’s vital to acknowledge the evolving landscape of automobiles. Forbes aptly points out the increasing presence of technology in modern cars. Today’s average car has up to 150 electronic sensors and 70 computer systems.

Features such as hands-free driving, surround-view cameras, radar sensors, Wi-Fi, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) have become standard. These advancements make regular maintenance even more critical. Modern vehicles rely on many electronic systems that must be in good working order for them to operate safely.

2. Keeping Your Cool on Summer Journeys

As summer temperatures soar, a functional air conditioning system becomes a non-negotiable for comfortable road trips. Take time to test your AC – crank it up and ensure it’s blowing cold air efficiently. If you notice weak airflow or lukewarm air, schedule a service appointment.

But ensuring a cool ride goes beyond just the AC. Your car’s cooling system prevents overheating, a potentially disastrous situation on a hot summer day. 

The radiator acts like a car’s internal heat exchanger, dissipating excess heat from the coolant. Visually inspect the radiator for any leaks or damage. Also, check the coolant hoses for cracks or signs of wear. Leaking coolant can lead to overheating, so nip the problem in the bud. Finally, ensure the coolant level is at the proper level as specified in your owner’s manual. 

While the above checks are essential for traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, electric vehicles (EVs) present some unique considerations. Recurrent says using your AC in moderate summer conditions shouldn’t significantly impact driving range. However,  extreme heat can harm an EV’s battery, especially if left in a low state of charge. 

The car’s thermal management system requires energy to keep the battery cool. Keeping your EV charged helps maintain optimal battery temperature. Additionally, don’t leave an uncharged EV parked in direct sunlight for extended periods, as this can stress the battery more.

3. Maximize Space and Be Prepared

Before embarking on your summer escapade, take some time to declutter your car. This will free up valuable space for your summer essentials and improve fuel efficiency by reducing overall weight. 

RoofPax suggests using a roof bag for extra storage if your car is filled with passengers and luggage. This is ideal for bulky summer items such as beach chairs, sports equipment, or camping supplies.

When choosing a roof rack and cargo bag, ensure they are compatible with your car and weight limitations. Opt for a waterproof rooftop cargo carrier to protect your belongings from unexpected summer showers or sudden downpours.

Packing an emergency kit is crucial for any road trip, especially during the summer months when unexpected situations can arise. Your emergency kit should include essentials like a flashlight, jumper cables,  and flares (check your local regulations regarding flares).

Additionally, it should contain a well-stocked first-aid kit, non-perishable snacks and bottled water for hydration, and a basic toolkit for minor repairs. These items can ensure you’re prepared to handle any minor inconveniences on your summer adventures.


4. Safety and Comfort on the Road

The summer sun can be relentless, making driving uncomfortable and potentially hazardous. Consider installing sunshades for the rear windows to protect passengers, especially children, from harmful UV rays. Window tinting is another option, offering a more permanent solution for reducing glare and keeping the car’s interior cooler.

Investing in breathable seat covers and cushions can make a big difference for extended summer road trips. These accessories provide additional support and reduce discomfort caused by hot leather seats or worn upholstery.

A reliable navigation system is crucial for unfamiliar routes. Ensure your GPS is updated with the latest maps before you hit the road. Downloading offline maps can also be a lifesaver in areas with limited cellular reception. 

Don’t forget entertainment. Load up your device with audiobooks and podcasts, or create playlists to keep everyone entertained during long journeys.

5.  Consider Car Shipping

If the idea of long drives becomes overwhelming, you might consider shipping your car. This option allows you to take a flight or train to your destination, avoiding the fatigue and time commitment of a long drive. 

Car shipping can be a convenient and stress-free alternative, especially for long trips or limited vacation time. Instead of spending hours behind the wheel, you can relax and enjoy a more comfortable mode of travel, arriving at your destination refreshed. You can even take a mid-journey break and opt for shipping if you feel too exhausted. 

For added protection and peace of mind, you might consider enclosed shipping, which safeguards your vehicle from weather elements and road debris. Alternatively, open shipping is a cost-effective option that still provides reliable transportation for your car.

Shipping your car can also be beneficial if you have young children or elderly passengers who might find long drives challenging. Moreover, it reduces wear and tear on your vehicle, potentially saving maintenance costs in the long run.

Summer is a time for exploration, relaxation, and creating lasting memories. With the tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure your car is ready to be your reliable companion on all your summer adventures. 

From essential maintenance checks to smart packing strategies and thoughtful comfort upgrades, you can transform your car into a haven for fun. Buckle up, hit the road confidently, and embrace the endless possibilities of summer adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my car journey fun?

To make your car journey fun, create a great playlist, bring snacks, plan interesting stops along the route, and engage in games with passengers. Ensuring comfort with pillows and blankets, as well as having a well-organized car, can also enhance the experience.

How can you protect a car from the hot sun?

Park in the shade or use a car cover to protect a car from the hot sun. Apply sunshades to the windshield and windows, use seat covers, and regularly check and maintain the cooling system. Tinted windows and frequent waxing can also help reduce heat and protect the car’s interior and exterior.

How can I cool my car fast in the summer?

Open windows to let out hot air to cool your car quickly in summer. Direct airflow to the floor vents first, then gradually switch to the upper vents. Consider using a sunshade and parking in the shade when possible.

Have Questions or Need a Car Shipping Quote?

Number 1 Auto Transport is an auto transport service company specializing in transporting all vehicles door to door. We offer the highest quality customer service at the most reasonable and honest rates. Please email us or call 855-422-4141 for a FREE  CAR SHIPPING QUOTE to ship your car.

We look forward to giving you quick answers to any questions you may have!