Eric Stromer shows you how to prepare a safe road trip for his GMC Trade Secret.
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How to Get Ready for a Road Trip
Featured Pro: Eric Stromer Category: Home Improvement Time: 3:41
ERIC STROMER: Before you hop in the car and take off on that road trip, there are a number of things you can do to prepare for a safe trip. I’m Eric Stromer, and this is your GMC Trade Secret, brought to you by the GMC Sierra.
Now, this is something that no vehicle should be without, especially when you’re going on a long road trip. This small toolkit has some basic essentials – jumper cables, a wrench, screwdriver, pliers, multipurpose tool, and a flashlight. And this can save the day if you or someone else becomes stranded on the road.
Now, it’s also a good idea to have a first aid kit in the vehicle at all times. Now, this one has some basics like latex gloves, sterilized swabs, bandages, medical tape, medicated ointment, a solar blanket and some aspirin. And I always keep a few bottles of water and some nonperishable food like energy bars, just in case I get stranded somewhere.
And it’s also a good idea to keep a little bit of cash and some change in the vehicle, because you don’t want to get stuck at a toll booth without any coins or get stranded at a gas station that won’t take credit cards.
Now, take a minute to organize the paperwork in your glove box. You want to make sure that your vehicle registration is up to date and that your proof of registration and insurance is located in a spot where you can easily find it.
Now, let’s talk about what you need to check on your vehicle. First, take a look at the air pressure in your tires. Now, tire pressure can affect fuel efficiency and handling. This GMC vehicle has a display that tells me how much pressure I have in the tires. Most vehicles have a sticker near the driver-side door that gives you some basic information, including how much pressure should be in your tires.
Now, let me show you how to manually check your tire pressure. This is a tire pressure gauge. It’s a very simple tool that everyone should have in their glove box. Just insert this onto the air valve on your tire and it’ll give you an accurate pressure reading. Yeah, I need to add about five pounds of pressure.
Now, it’s a good idea to check your spare tire before you leave home so you can be prepared for anything that might happen on the road. And check your owner’s manual so you’re familiar with how to change a tire on your vehicle.
Now, a lot of vehicles have an electronic gauge that monitors fluid levels. But it doesn’t hurt to pop the hood and check them yourself and top them off if necessary.
Oil is probably the most critical fluid under the hood. It lubricates all the moving parts in the engine. And without it, your engine will seize up. Now, check the oil by pulling on the oil dipstick. Wipe the existing oil on a rag, then dip it again for the best reading. If the oil is below the suggested level on the dipstick, you need to add some oil.
Now, while you’re under the hood, this is a good time to top off your radiator fluid and windshield washer fluid as well. In a pinch, people may be tempted to fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with water instead of windshield fluid. Now, this is not a good idea, especially if you’re traveling where the temperatures could drop below freezing. Most windshield fluid contains ethanol so it won’t freeze.
The gear that you pack for your trip will vary, depending on your destination. Now, a week of camping is going to require a lot more cargo than an afternoon picnic. Put the heaviest items toward the bottom and closest to the front. And make sure that your load is secure and that it won’t shift or get loose while you’re driving.
Before you leave, know where you’re going and how to get there. Now, a lot of us have GPS in the vehicle nowadays, but I also carry some road maps in the glove box just in case. Now, make sure you’re driving safely, using a hands-free device or integrated bluetooth, like on this GMC Sierra.
And here’s another tip: Don’t advertise your travels. Thieves can prey on you if they know you’re away from home on vacation. Also, don’t leave expensive items in your car such as a camera or GPS visible when you stop on the road. And before you leave on your next road trip, make sure that you’re prepared for whatever the road might throw at you.
Have a good trip. I’m Eric Stromer. That’s your GMC Trade Secret.