Why Your Car Needs A Safety Inspection Before Summer Travel

by | May 22, 2021 | advice, Car maintenance, safety

Summer Travel Is A Go!

a van parked near the ocean on its summer travel

Photo by Gya Den

Thanks to the CDC’s new guidelines on outdoor gatherings and the increasing amount of vaccinations, summer travel is an option again. While individual states are still able to make their own judgements on the matter, many are choosing to open up. This means that a lot of Cache Valley residents will be traveling this summer for their vacations.

Lots of Driving

Summer travel means lots of driving. The one thing you don’t want when you need to do a lot of driving is a breakdown. A breakdown can leave you stranded in the middle nowhere – or at least unfamiliar territory. Maybe you’ll be lucky and it’ll happen in a city where you have easy access to a mechanic. But what happens if it’s on the freeway dozens of miles from the nearest city? You don’t want to be there. That’s why you should have a car inspection before you take off on any long trips.

Safety Inspection

We already talked about pre-travel safety inspections a couple winters ago in preparation for Christmas travel. For a complete list of the basic safety inspections you should have, you can read that. We also recommend you take a look at our list of common summer car problems, too. All of those are good things to check. There are a couple more we’d like to add to the list. So, let’s take a look.

1. Brakes

I’m surprised we neglected to mention this originally because it’s super important. I guess the brakes are just something you don’t think about until they suddenly break. You don’t want to make the mistake of waiting until they go bad to have a mechanic look at them, though. If your brakes go bad while you’re out on the road, you can find yourself sliding into traffic, hitting people from behind, or just grinding your car’s parts. It’s rare for brakes to suddenly stop functioning altogether and usually only happens if some kind of accident damages them. It’s natural for them to wear out over time, however. When you’re used to your brakes working properly, even slight changes in their effectiveness can throw off your muscle memory, leading to increased risk of accidents.

2. Wiper Blades

This is more obviously an issue in winter, when you’re likely to see snow while traveling. Don’t neglect it for summer either, though. Here in Cache Valley, we don’t see tons of rain, so we just forget how common it can be in other places. My own family has a history of going to Oregon for summer vacations every few years and it rains there all the time. If you’re on the road during a rainstorm and your wiper blades aren’t working, that’s a serious danger. Do you risk getting into an accident because you can’t see, or do you stop and wait for the storm to pass? Trick question: the correct answer is you make sure your wiper blades work before you even go out.

3. Replenish Emergency Kits

Even with a full safety inspection and tune-up, there’s still the possibility that something could go wrong. It might not even be the fault of your car. Weather could leave you stranded somewhere, a car crash could be completely unavoidable, or maybe just the hand of God striking you down. You never know what could go wrong. That’s why you always want to have an emergency kit with some basic things to deal with breakdowns. They should include the following: a flashlight and extra fresh batteries, first-aid supplies, drinking water, non-perishable snacks for people and pets, car battery booster cables, emergency flares or reflectors, a rain poncho, a basic tool kit, duct tape, gloves, and shop rags or paper towels. A couple granola bars might also be a good idea to prevent hunger complaints from children.

a car getting a safety inspection before going on summer vacationGet a Safety Inspection Before Summer Travel

Safety inspections are still not legally mandated in Utah, as we’ve said before, but don’t neglect them. Even if you don’t think anything is wrong with your car, there are plenty of little problems that a mechanic can catch well before they show obvious signs. A safety inspection is the best way to make sure your car is in good condition and keep it that way. If you find the problems when they’re small, they’re usually much easier and less expensive to fix. The difference of just a few months can be the difference between spending a couple hundred dollars and spending over a thousand. Depending on the problem, you might even find yourself replacing the whole car just to save money. You don’t want that.

You definitely don’t want that to happen while you’re out on the road.

Come And See Us

If you’re planning on going on any long driving trips, it’s a good idea to get a safety inspection. Even if you’re not going on any long trips, you should probably get one if it’s been more than a year since your last one. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

We can help you with that. If you want to get a quick safety inspection before you start your summer travel, then get in touch with us today. We’ll check you out and make sure you’re all clear to enjoy your summer vacation!


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