Five Safe & Healthy Road Trip Tips

Here are our top road trip tips! Road trips are officially back! In the age of COVID, traveling by car, truck, SUV, RV, etc. is once again en vogue. According to a recent US Travel Association survey, 67-percent of participants said they plan on taking some form of a road trip in the next six months. Due to ongoing health concerns associated with crowds and enclosed spaces, many people are choosing to opt-out of traveling via mass transportation carriers this year. The AAA projects air, bus, train, and cruise reservations will be down 75 to 85-percent year-over-year.

Health and Safety Tips For Your Road Trip

Health risks and uncertainties related to mass transit at the moment have lowered gas prices. Additionally, government stimulus checks are contributing to the surge in demand for road trips. Many of us working remotely, or not working at all. Road trips provide an excellent way to escape the rigors of our “new normal”. While maintaining health, safety, and social distancing protocols as possible. In this month’s blog, we break down five safe and healthy road trip tips. These are to consider in the age of COVID and beyond. After being cooped up for months, there’s no better time than the present to hit the open road. Many in search of some fresh air and excitement.

1. Always Plan Ahead During A Road Trip

Even during more “normal” times, planning ahead will always be near the top of any list of road trip tips. Mapping out your route, calculating gas mileage, and plotting out fuel/rest stops, toll booths. Additionally, planning any leisure activities along the way should be the first step in planning any road trip. Planning ahead also means making any reservations well in advance. Also, being aware of any area closures, special operating hours, and health protocols due to the pandemic. It may seem like a bit much, but with the plethora of tutorials, apps, and online tools available nowadays. Putting together a safe, cost-efficient, and most importantly, fun, a road trip is easier than it’s ever been.

2. Routine Service & Scheduled Maintenance

Making sure your car is up-to-date on all of its scheduled maintenances is essential before any road trip. The last thing you want is to have a breakdown on a deserted highway in the middle-of-nowhere. Aside from regular oil changes, battery inspections, fluid top-offs, and more. You or your mechanic should visually inspect your entire vehicle for any damaged or worn components. Keeping your automobile in great shape will not only help ensure a safe, hassle-free road trip. Also, it will help maintain your vehicle’s longevity, fuel economy, and overall performance. We urge all motorists to bring your car, to our ASE certified automotive technician. Do this for a quick inspection before driving off on your next adventure.

3. Don’t Forget to Rest & Hydration

Getting plenty of rest and staying well hydrated are more than just handy road trip tips, they are vital to reaching your destination safe and sound. According to the NHTSA, more than 38,000 people die each year on the road in car accidents, with more than 6,000 fatal crashes being than a direct result of drivers falling-asleep-at-the-wheel. Getting the proper amount of rest and hydration has been scientifically proven to maximize levels of energy and alertness while driving. The experts recommend stopping every two-hours or 100-miles to rest. Maintaining a sufficient level of sleep and hydration also helps fortify your body’s immune system, which is crucial in defending yourself against the Coronavirus.

4. Pack the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

In these unprecedented times we find ourselves in, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, face shields, and any other personal protective equipment are the new “don’t leave home without it” items we carry with us whenever we leave the house. Also, don’t forget the disinfectant wipes and/or cleaning products. At some point, you, your family, or your group of buddies will have to eventually exit your car or truck and come into contact with potentially infected people or surfaces. Whether it’s a gas pump nozzle, an ATM machine, a restaurant counter or public restroom, COVID, or not, having disinfectant wipes in your vehicle ready-to-go should be an on everyone’s list of road trip tips.

5. Healthy Snacks For Your Road Trip

Last but not least on our list of road trip tips is packing healthy snacks and refreshments. Fresh fruits carrots, jerky, nuts, popcorn, and protein bars, among many others, are great portable snacks to bring along for the ride. Munching on these nutrient-rich snacks throughout your journey will help keep you alert, energetic as well as boost your immune system. Not to mention the fact your food options on the road typically consist of unhealthy gas station snacks or fast food. Bringing your own healthy collection of munchies will also help minimize exposure to the gas station and restaurant employees, patrons, and surfaces.

The road trip renaissance is real. In case you needed any more evidence, according to Car and Driver, RV and motorhome sales and rentals are “booming” due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Like much of the country, North Carolinians are ready, willing, and able to travel. Do you have any questions regarding your next road trip? Would like to bring your vehicle in for an inspection? Contact us today or stop by for a visit.

Proper Vehicle Storage

Proper Vehicle Storage During the Age of Coronavirus and Beyond

Proper Vehicle StorageWith most of the country on quarantine and social-distancing appearing to be the new normal for the foreseeable future, most North Carolina residents aren’t driving much these days. Whether you’re doing your part to “bend the curve”, short on cash, or simply have nowhere to go, more-than-likely you haven’t used your car much lately. You may own multiple automobiles, or possibly an entire fleet of business vehicles sitting unused due to these unprecedented times. Cars and trucks are highly susceptible to a myriad of environmental threats causing premature wear-and-tear when parked for extended periods. In this month’s blog, we take a closer look at proper vehicle storage during the Age of Coronavirus and beyond.

Making Sure The Gas is Full is The Proper Vehicle Storage

Topping off your car or truck’s gas tank is essential to proper vehicle storage. Over time, condensation will form inside the vacant space within your vehicle’s gas tank, leading to corrosion. Keeping your tank full also prevents the fuel system’s seals from drying out and failing. If you plan to park your car or truck for more than 30-days, you may want to consider adding a fuel stabilizer additive to prevent fuel degradation. A full tank of gas also provides an extra sense of security in these uncertain times.

Having a Fully Charged Battery Helps With Proper Vehicle Storage

The battery in any car, truck, or SUV will slowly lose its charge the longer it stays parked and out of commission. That’s why maintaining your automobile’s battery is vital to proper vehicle storage. Driving to the supermarket or drugstore weekly is the best way to charge your car or truck’s battery. If driving is not an option, starting your vehicle’s ignition once-a-week and letting your engine idle for about 15-minutes is the next-best choice. Plug-in trickle chargers are another solution to the battery-drain associated with long-term vehicle storage. Disconnecting the negative cable on your vehicle’s battery is another way to reduce the loss of charge.

Proper Vehicle Storage Means Maintaining Your Tires

Inflating your automobile’s tires to their OEM factory-specified levels is key to proper vehicle storage. Improperly inflated tires are more likely to develop flat spots. Flat spots occur when an automobile is parked for an extended period-of-time and the weight of the vehicle causes the tires to crease under pressure. Over time, flat spots will permanently damage tires, requiring costly replacements. Driving your car one-a-week even just a few blocks greatly reduces the chance of any flat spots developing. If you plan to store your car or truck more than 30-days, you should consider jacking the vehicle and removing the wheels.

Cover

The best storage option to protect your beloved car, truck, or SUV from the wear-and-tear of the elements is a garage. If you don’t have access to a garage or are out of space, the next-best-option, in terms of proper vehicle storage, would be a weatherproof automotive cover. Owners of late-model, luxury, classic, or other specialty vehicles will want to consider shelling out the extra cash and renting a storage unit. Prior to storing your vehicle, washing and waxing are highly advisable, especially if you plan to use an automotive cover.

No Parking Brake

If you plan to stash your car or truck for more than 30-days, then you should not use the vehicle’s parking brake. Engaging your automobile’s parking brake for extended periods causes the brake pads to gradually fuse to the rotor. Utilizing chocks (tire-stoppers) in place of the parking brake is highly recommended when storing any vehicle 30-days or longer.

Critter Prevention

Critter Prevention is an often-overlooked aspect of proper vehicle storage. Whether you park indoors or out on the street, even for just a few days, you run the risk of a critter invasion. Mice, rats, and other rodents like to crawl into tailpipes, vents, under-the-hood, or just about any other space they can squeeze into. The last thing anyone wants to deal with coming out of quarantine is a colony of mice living in their car. Make sure to block off any openings to your vehicle, especially the tailpipes, vent shafts, and any other opening a small rodent could enter and wreak havoc on your automobile’s wiring, belts, hoses, etc.

Auto Insurance

Depending on how long this national health crisis persists, you may consider reducing your auto insurance premiums. Times are tough and many of us North Carolinians. Many are out-of-work and struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic. Not only that, but many of us are also hardly even driving, if at all. Auto insurance companies are seeing increased profits at-the-moment due to a dramatic drop in auto accident payouts. Speaking to an insurance agent about reduced rates is a great way to save money. Anytime you plan to store a vehicle long-term we recommend this.

Here at Carolina Mobile Auto, we wish all members of the Winston Salem community safety and health. We praise all our local front-line medical staff, essential workers, with our utmost gratitude. We look forward to serving all of your automotive repair and service needs in the very near future.

Carolina Auto Service