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Q&A: How to prepare your vehicle for summer travel

Getting ready to hit the road and kick back your feet? Well, before you do so, it's a good idea to make sure your car is prepared for your travels.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Making sure your car is prepared to reach your destination is crucial: not only so you actually make it, but so you can avoid any hassle while on vacation. 

We went to a local Firestone where we asked Store Manager Tammy Nelson what people should do before leaving town.

Q: When it comes to tires - what is one thing you need to look out for and how can people check if they need changing?

A: "You always want to make sure you have plenty of treads, especially when wet weather occurs because you don't want to be sliding everywhere. You've got two different ways to measure it. You've got what we call our tread depth reader and you also have just a penny, we all have a penny. So, if you don't have a tread depth you can use a penny, but we take the penny and you turn it around and you turn Lincoln's head upside down. If the penny shows the full head, it's time to replace your tires.”

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Q: What if you don't know much about cars? If I take my car to a repair shop, what will they do to make sure it's travel-safe?

A: “Most all of the repair shops or garages they will offer what's called a vehicle inspection and we pretty much all have a standard uniform form, but what you can do is go in and tell them you're about to get ready to travel and they'll go through and they'll check all your tires the tread depths, your air pressures, they'll top off all your fluids, and it also comes with the brake inspection which is really important.”

Q: Is there something people should especially check that they don't usually think about?

A: “You want to keep your coolant checked. A lot of people think that in the wintertime is the only time you need to worry about coolant, but this will check the pH levels of your coolant, and it keeps your radiator from overheating in the summertime.”

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Q: Do you have any other tips for someone who's about to hit the road and head on vacation?

A: “Just make sure, like I said, keep your air pressure that's the most important thing the air pressure in your tires make sure you've got plenty of fluids in your vehicle. Don't just use water in your coolant in your radiator always use the coolant that's designed for your vehicle and don't put it in from the radiator there's an overflow of coolant reservoir where you want to always put the colon in and always make sure your car has cooled down before you open that.”

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