Summer means vacations of all types and durations. Whether you're packing up the family for a long weekend camping trip or you are headed out of town for a week-long adventure, there are some steps you should take first to make sure that your vehicle is ready for the job. The following vacation checklist can help ensure that your vehicle is in great working condition to get you where you want to go.


 There's a lot riding on your tires since they are the only thing in between your car and the road. Make sure that your tires have a sufficient amount of tread on them before you head out on vacation. You also need to make sure that they have the right tire pressure. Not only does the right tire pressure improve your fuel economy, but it can also make your vehicle easier to handle.


You count on your battery to help power your vehicle to where you want it to go. You should make sure that it has the ability to keep your car running while you're out of town. Check the warranty date on your battery. This is usually denoted by a letter and number code on top of the car battery. The letter corresponds to the month of the year while the number indicates the year. So a battery with the code of A18 would expire in January 2018. If the warranty date of your battery is approaching or if your battery is more than four years old, you might want to replace it. You can also have the battery tested before you head out on the road.

Get an Oil Change

If it is getting close to the time when you need to have your vehicle's oil changed, you should have it completed before you go on vacation. This provides your vehicle's engine with plenty of lubrication which can help reduce the likelihood of a breakdown.

Check Your Belts

With the car's engine off, raise the hood so you can get a good check on the hoses. Turn them over and look for cracked, torn or ragged places on the underside of your belts. A belt that is shiny on the underside should also be replaced before you head out on vacation.

If you notice any issues mentioned above, or you simply want a professional to look at your vehicle before leaving for vacation, visit Big Jim's Auto. We provide a variety of services designed to protect your car. You can give us a call at 319-261-0999.