Stay Safe During Your Weekend Travels

Making sure your car is ready for a road trip can help make your trip smooth and uneventful.With Labor Day weekend upon us, many people are planning one last get away to end the summer. The staff at Morris Insurance Services wants to make sure you and your family stay safe when traveling.

Before leaving for your trip, be sure your vehicle is ready for the trip. Checking oil, tires, and other maintenance issues can keep your vacation fun and carefree. '

Here are some tips from Mobil to ensure your car is running properly. (See the full article here.) Whether you are a do-it-yourself owner or visit a reputable repair shop, here are some items to keep in mind.

  • Check your vehicle's oil levels and get an oil change if you are close to the manufacturer-recommend interval listed in your manual.
  • Check your vehicle's transmission and differential fluids. Both your transmission and drive axle have their own lubricant supply. Check your owner's manual for the recommended maintenance schedule.
  • Check all hoses for wear, cracks, or other issues. Replacing a worn hose now is easier and less expensive than waiting until there is a problem on the roadway.
  • Engine belts are also an often overlooked maintenance point. Turn the belt sideways to look for tears, cracks or any visible fiber cords. Newer cars have one large belt that typically lasts for approximately 50,000.  Older vehicles may have more than one belt. Check your owner's manual to determine your vehicle's specifics.
  • Check the coolant in your car to ensure the proper levels. Most newer vehicles are designed to go up to 150,000 miles before needing coolant. 
  • Check your tires' pressure, making sure there is not too little or too much pressure. Low tire pressure wastes fuel and can cause the tire to get hotter from extra friction. Too much pressure can cause a blow out on the interstate.  
  • Be sure to look at the tires' treads and any signs of wear as well. Do the quick penny test. Place a penny in the tire's tread with Lincoln's head pointing away from the tire. If the depth is below Lincoln's shoulder, it's time for a new tire.
  • Check the brake system for wear and tear and proper amounts of brake fluids.
  • If your battery is more than a few years old, check that the terminals are free of corrosion and the positive and negative leads are tight. If your vehicle starts sluggishly, it could be corrosion or a dying battery.
  • Take your vehicle for a test run on a local freeway. Listen for noises, feel for shakes and watch for other signs of trouble.


Making sure your vehicle is ready for a long road trip is one step to having an enjoyable family get away.  By following this checklist you will be well on your way to a fun Labor Day getaway.