If you are planning on taking an end-of-summer road trip, then it's vital that you have your vehicle checked out before you hit the road. You don't want the car to fall apart while you're on the highway somewhere. Besides being an inconvenience, there would also be a big cost. You would be a hostage of whatever roadside service station you encounter. Additionally, an unchecked car is not safe to take on a long road trip. Things such as bad brakes and worn tires pose a serious threat for accidents. So, here's a checklist of what you should have looked at before you head out on the road.
The first thing you want to have inspected are your tires. Even if you don't see any wear or tear, the tires might be in need of replacement. Your tires need not be threadbare in order to pose a serious risk. You don't want to be on the highway during a rainstorm and hit a slick spot on the road and be without optimum traction. Many frugal drivers adhere to the penny test. This is a test whereby you take a penny and stick it into the tires treads. If, after the penny is placed into the grove of the treads, you are still able to see the entire face of President Lincoln, then you need new tires. However, even if Abe's head is still partially obscured, you might want to take this opportunity to get new tires. It's one thing to drive around your neighborhood on iffy tires, but when you and your family are out on the road, you should not take a chance. So, it is a good idea to make sure you have fresh tires with great traction.
Along with tires, you need to have your brake pads checked. If you have to press the brake down heavily, and the car takes a while to slow down, you need to immediately have the pads changed. This is a sign the pads are worn down. You might even be dealing with a situation where the pads have completely worn away. That's extremely dangerous. Consider the scenario where you're driving at 60mph on the highway and an accident occurs ahead of you. You need the stopping power of brand-new brake pads. However, even if you don't have apparent brake-pad issues, you should still have your brakes inspected. Even a slight delay in stopping power can be fatal when you are driving at high speeds.