As Memorial day approaches, it marks the beginning of the Summer Driving season and for many that means it’s time to either begin or plan a road trip somewhere fun. The last thing anyone needs is a breakdown on the road, especially if it’s a road less traveled (which is very possible if you own a Subaru). Before venturing out to wherever your journey may take you and your family it’s critical to plan accordingly.
Below are some of the things that I always try and remember, if you have anything to add please do so in the comments section
- Be sure to check your tires and don’t forget about the spare! Any tire at or below 2/32 of an inch of tread life left should be replaced, making sure the tire pressure is set is a good idea all year around, but making sure all 5 are set at the proper levels before a prolonged period of road time is crucial to safety. If you don’t know when the last time your Subaru had a wheel alignment, there is no time like the present.
- Check all of your fluids and change as needed! During the summer months the fluids are at more risk of evaporation and breaking down under extreme temperatures, this can be especially true for brake fluid if it has collected enough moisture it can actually boil during excessive brake use like coming down a mountain pass with a full load of family and gear. Brake fluid, should really be changed every 15,000 miles, or at least once a year. Carry a jug of coolant or at least water to be on the safe side. Don’t forget about windshield washer solvent, bugs on the windshield are tough to remove without cleaner. It’s also a good idea whenever you stop to refuel, that you scrub the windshield at the gas station as well using the fancy tool and the dirty water.
- Make sure you check that the AC is functioning properly before venturing out, while it may have been 60 degrees in Seattle when you left, temperatures in sunny California or even just Eastern Washington may be in the 80’s or 90’s. I personally like to be sure I have at least two pairs of sunglasses within reach of me, that way when I loose the first pair, or my wife sits on them, I have a back up plan to contend with the glare of the Sun.
- When you begin to pack for your road trip be sure you don’t overload the Subaru and be mindful of how the load is being distributed if at all possible. It’s also a good idea to be sure that you can see out of all of the windows and if not, be comfortable using just the side view mirrors.
- Rain in the Summer causes more accidents than it does in the winter, this is because the heat of the Summer sun releases oils onto the road and rain makes it that much more slippery. This kind of goes back to making sure the tires on your Subaru are in good shape, but even the best tires need a responsive driver. During the Summer months road construction also increases and you need to be cautious of that when traveling.
- It goes without saying that if you bring the family dog on the trip you never leave him or her in the car unattended for long, and never without the windows down enough for fresh air. Both you and the dog will need extra water so plan accordingly.
- If you service your Subaru with us, most likely you are ready to go, but a quick call or email to us to see if there was anything we were monitoring on your car such as a minor leak or brakes that were getting close at the last oil change, can also go a long way to avoiding surprises. If you are not local to us hopefully you have a good relationship with a Subaru Service provider and can obtain that information as well.
So wherever your travels take you, your family and your Subaru, we sure hope you have safe fun filled travels.
-Justin and the Crew