Tag Archives: car

Back to the 1980s

February 14, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Aaron Gum can tell you several movies he loves, but ask about the one—the film that he most associates with his childhood—and his eyes sparkle. The clock tower…the electricity…the burn marks from the tires of Doc Brown’s DeLorean as it travels Back to the Future.

“Nothing really sums up a decade, as far as pop culture goes, as much as a DeLorean,” says the freelance producer of commercials, music videos, and other media around Omaha.

As a kid growing up in the 1980s, Gum always wanted a DeLorean, but he never expected to fulfill the dream. The DeLorean DMC-12—the only car ever produced by the DeLorean Motor Co.—had a limited production period between 1981 and 1983. Around 10,000 vehicles were made, and less than 7,000 are still in existence.

While perusing social media in April, a photo of the vehicle on a flatbed in a Facebook post by a friend of a friend changed his mind. The car was headed for Woodhouse Auto, which had taken it on trade for an Alpha Romeo.

Gum, also the synthesist for the local new-wave synth duo Glow in the Dark, originally wanted to borrow the vehicle for a photo shoot. As soon as he saw the DeLorean on social media, he called the marketing director at Woodhouse Auto Group, with whom he worked on commercials, and asked about it. The vehicle, at that time, was not running and he was not able to use the car.

Two months later, Gum visited Woodhouse to shoot commercials and asked about the vehicle. Yes, it was still there, and yes, it was now running. Gum bought the vehicle for around $30,000. It was a whim for the normally frugal Gum, whose high-ticket purchases tend to be more career-focused, such as film cameras or synthesizer equipment.

The vehicle has become his promo car for the band, taking him to gigs around the city.

Gum goes overboard in his devotion to hobbies, and he soon began making the futuristic-looking car even more 1980s in style. The fuse was out on the lights, so he replaced the lighting with LEDs. He acquired such movie props as a flux capacitor, hoverboard, a Mr. Fusion home energy reactor, Marty McFly jacket, and a 1/6 scale DeLorean time machine.

Gum isn’t a “car guy,” but the car—and what it symbolizes—has captured his heart. In July his friend Scott called and told him to get down to Quaker Steak & Lube in Council Bluffs. A second DeLorean, one Gum knew nothing about, was participating at the Wheels of Courage auto show taking place at the restaurant’s lot. Gum quickly drove over to check out his vehicle’s twin, parking outside the show’s perimeter near the other DeLorean.

“It was kind of crazy,” Gum says. “I had no idea there was another one in the area, but there it was, right over in Council Bluffs.”

Gum’s is a 1981, the other was a 1983, so the two men compared parts. The 1983 was more authentic to the one in the movie, having no aesthetic grooves or fuel door stamped into
the hood.

But the thing about owning a DeLorean that makes Gum smile most is his encounters with movie fans.

“This kid came up wanting to sit in it,” Gum says. “Afterwards his father said, ‘you made his day,’ and I thought that was pretty cool.”

“You know,” he says, “you see a classic Lambo or something, it’s really cool, but you don’t just go sit down in it. People do that all the time with this car. They sit down and then go, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I should have asked. But I was so excited to see it!’ ”

They are fellow movie buffs, fellow obsessors over Marty McFly and his travels back to see his parents as teenagers. The affable Gum doesn’t mind (although it would be nice if people asked before plopping themselves down).

The DeLorean appeared as a featured vehicle in January’s Midlands International Auto Show alongside brand-new, high-end vehicles such as Corvettes and Lamborghinis. It was another chance for local fans of Back to the Future to interact with, and dream about owning, the iconic vehicle.

As for Gum’s DeLorean, it is a frequent prop in Glow in the Dark’s photo shoots and was used onstage at an August concert at OutrSpaces. Gum jokingly asked about bringing the car onstage and—to his surprise—was told, “You know, if you drive it around the back, you can probably get it in the door.” He did, and the car was positioned between Gum and bandmate Lawrence Deal during
the concert.

Since then, he hasn’t worked on making the car more movie-authentic because he’s been working on restoring another piece of movie-themed nostalgia, a Back to the Future pinball machine that was manufactured for only four months in the summer of 1990.

“How many people get to have a pinball machine with their car in it?” Gum says.

Visit @glowglowdarkdark on Facebook for more information about the band, including images of the DeLorean.

This article was printed in the February/March 2018 edition of B2B.

A Family Masterpiece

May 10, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Some childhood memories stick with you. Dave Carroll, a retired Union Pacific manager, holds onto the memory of one fateful childhood leap that dented his grandfather’s prized 1950 Mercury.

“I’ve got so much of my life in this car,” Carroll says. When he was about 6 or 7, Carroll was playing with cousins at a tree house on his grandparents’ farm in Fullerton, Nebraska. His grandfather John Carroll’s out-of-commission vehicle sat under the tree house.

“I remember it like it was yesterday. Instead of going down the rope ladder, I jumped out of the tree house onto the car and I caved the roof in.”

Carroll remembered his grandpa’s large hands. “He got in the car and he took his hand and popped it out, and I thought, wow.” Some wrinkles remained in the car’s roof and would stay there for many decades. “The funny story is, years later, I paid to fix that roof,” he says.

His grandmother, Etta Carroll, bestowed him the car after his grandfather passed away. Then she accidentally sold the car for $50 to a neighbor kid, while Dave was serving in the military during the Vietnam War. Dave and his father, Jack, travelled to Fullerton to get the car back after Dave returned from overseas. The duo were quickly chased off of the property by shotgun.

“We went downtown and we found the local constable. He was having coffee at the coffee shop. My dad knew him. We told him the story and he said ‘come on, we’ll go back.’” The story ended well for Dave, who was still in possession of the car’s original title. And the car has been with him since then.

Over the years, the Mercury was transported across the United States on a flatbed trailer while Carroll worked his way up at Union Pacific, from a position on the track gang to one in management at the company’s headquarters. His career led him to places such as Sydney (Nebraska), Denver, and Cheyenne. At every new location, Carroll brought along his beloved Merc’. “My intention was to build it, but being a railroader, I didn’t have the time or the funds.”

Carroll returned to Omaha in the ’80s. He met and wed Dianne Cascio Carroll, owner of Anything Goes Salon. Soon after, he began his odyssey of fixing the Mercury. Having the roof repaired is just one of the many changes Carroll has made to his car.

“There’s so many things that have been done to this car,” he says. Over more than 30 years, Carroll says he has spent thousands of hours refurbishing the car. Some projects were finished, only to be torn up again and redone so that he could try the ever-evolving products in the industry that worked better. “That’s my problem,” he says. “I redo things.”

He has often lost track of time while working in his garage in the Huntington Park neighborhood in Omaha. “I’ve had my wife open the door and say, ‘you know what time it is?’ I look at the clock and it’s 10 after 1 in the morning and I’ve got to be to work at 6 in the morning.”

“It’s not about me. It’s about my parents, and honoring the memory of my grandfather. I kept this car because it was in the family and it’s never been out of the family.”

Carroll’s imagination has affected every aspect of the car, from the striking Candy Purple body color, to the custom purple snakeskin roof interior. The air-conditioning vents were salvaged from a 2002 FordTempo. He ordered the custom-made steering wheel from California, and the windshield from Oregon. Thanks to Carroll’s insatiable creativity, the car has a digital dash, an electrical door opener, a late-model motor with custom aluminum valve covers, four-wheel disk brakes, rounded hood corners, a smooth dash and Frenched-in (curved) headlights.

The restoration has also been helped by Ron Moore of Moore Auto Body, Rick White of Redline Upholstery, and Rod Grasmick, an antique auto restorer. Using qualified professionals means that Carroll knows his car is taken care of, but he also finds them to be knowledgable friends.

“I have a couple of friends that are helping me with this car, that’s how our [automotive] community is—everybody helps everybody,” he says.

Will the car ever be finished? “My dad is always telling that he hopes to get to ride it in when it is done, and him being 92 years old puts a lot of pressure on me,” he says.

“My wife says, ‘you’re taking forever.’ Well, look at it this way, there’s better and newer stuff coming out all the time,” Carroll says. And so the journey continues.

This article was printed in the Spring 2017 edition of B2B.

Efficient Urban Transportation in a Zip

February 24, 2017 by

Living in a technologically advanced world has its advantages, like convenience and fiscal recompenses we never could have envisioned.

As a Los Angeles native who paid car insurance the price of a mortgage in some places, one new convenience I can appreciate is Zipcar.

The program has graced Omaha with its presence for seven years. Zipcar was founded in 2000 by Antje Danielson, current director of education at MIT Energy Initiative, and  Robin Chase, co-founder of French chartering service Buzzcar. The pair created Zipcar to provide a more efficient, affordable method of driving in the city.

Zipcar P.R. manager Lindsay Wester, who is based in Boston, explains that Zipcar is as simple as join, reserve, and drive.

Business customers begin by signing up online, where they pay a one-time setup fee of $75 and annual membership dues of $35 for each driver. This membership covers fuel, insurance, mileage, parking, and maintenance. Individuals can pay a $25 one-time setup fee annual dues of $70, or a monthly fee of $7 plus the one-time setup fee.

The Omaha fleet includes two Honda Civics and a Ford Escape. The Hondas and the Ford cost $8.50 per hour Monday through Thursday, or $69 per day. The Friday through Sunday rate is $9.50 per hour, or $77 per day for the Hondas and $83 per day for the Escape.  The other car available in Omaha is a Volkswagen Jetta, which costs $9 per hour or $69 daily at all times. The cars are parked on Creighton and UNMC’s campuses, downtown at 17th Street and Capitol Avenue, and at Mammel Hall near Aksarben Village.

Upon becoming a member, the company sends the user a Zipcard, which functions as an entry key. The ignition key stays inside the vehicle. Each user gets one card with their membership, which gives them access to Zipcar’s nationwide fleet. Upon reserving a car, the company digitally connects the Zipcard to the specific car reserved. The user gains access to the vehicle by holding the card to the card reader placed in the windshield. After scanning in with the Zipcard, a user’s smartphone can be a backup to the Zipcard for locking or unlocking the car doors throughout a reservation.

The company first brought their concept to Omaha in 2010, launching at Creighton University, followed by University of Nebraska in 2012, then the Medical Center in October 2015. In Omaha, the target market has been students, but Zipcars also are useful for travelers.

Melanie Stewart, sustainability manager at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine, is in charge of UNMC’s program.

“Last year we had a visiting professor come in, and they had a friend in Lincoln, so they used a Zipcar to visit their friend while in Omaha,” Stewart says.

The Zipcars are also used by visitors of patients who may need to purchase supplies or just take a break from being at the hospital.

Patrick Lin, a 21-year-old Omaha resident, says, “I used Zipcar roughly four to six hours every week during my sophomore year. I first heard about it from some friends in California because they couldn’t have cars during their first year at college.”

Lin enjoys the ability to use a car when needed without the expense of owning it. “Personally, it allows a lot more to get done compared to other services. The only restraint I have is that since there is a time limit, you must plan your activities accordingly. But the per-mile usage you can get when a trip is planned right is entirely worth the time constraints,” he says.

Wester says that Zipcar has remained successful and growing for more than a decade and a half. And as city dwellers become more disenchanted with the idea of owning cars, their success should continue to accelerate.

Visit zipcar.com for more information.

This article was printed in the Spring 2017 edition of B2B.

Looking for Trouble

January 2, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

“Eighty eastbound…four four nine…ten sixty two…occupied,” went the call over the radio. 60 Plus in Omaha was only a little more than a mile out from base in a ride-along with the volunteers of the Metro Area Motorist Assist program, and 65-year-old Wayne Fry was calling in the first incident report.

A vehicle—the “1062” in the cop-talk lingo above—was pulled over at mile marker 449 of Interstate 80, and a young man named Kenny was about to make the mistake of pouring engine coolant into the wrong receptacle of his overheated and smoking junker.

20131118_bs_2927“I obviously had no idea what I was doing,” says Kenny. “Those guys are lifesavers.” The red-faced man was more than happy to have his last name shown in print as simply “Occupied,” the designation from Fry’s radio report indicating that the car had at least one person in it.

Over the last 13 years the Motorist Assist program has come to the rescue more than 85,000 times. Based on the most recent census report, that’s the equivalent of coming to the aid of one out of every 10 people in the metro area.

“It started as a public safety initiative so that law enforcement can concentrate on what you pay us to do—enforce the law,” explains Lt. Kevin Bridges of the Nebraska State Patrol. “It doesn’t take a trained officer to give a lift to someone who is out of gas, so that’s where our great Motorist Assist volunteers come in.”

Omaha’s State Patrol Troop A office has 21 Mobile Assist drivers, but Lt. Bridges has a duty roster that calls for twice as many. Volunteers go through 12 hours of training and are required to have a current CPR card. All ages are welcome to explore becoming a Motorist Assist volunteer, but the normally wide-open schedules of a retired person, Lt. Bridges says, is the most common profile of the volunteer he seeks.

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Mobile Assist uses the buddy system, and 84-year-old Gene Tschida was riding shotgun the day of the interview.

“It’s a lonely, helpless feeling to be stopped by the side of the road with all that traffic buzzing past you, so people are glad to see us,” says Tschida. “The big thing is the personal satisfaction we get in helping people.”

“Especially because so many of the folks we encounter are maybe less fortunate than we are,” adds Fry. “That young guy, Kenny, was an excellent example of a great stop. He was polite. He gave us a nice ‘thank you’ and a big smile,” one that broadened when he learned that Assist services carry no fees.

Tschida is a veteran of 15 years volunteering behind the wheel of a Motorist Assist vehicle. “I’m still kinda feeling out this job,” he quips. “The pay is pretty lousy, but I figure it might improve with seniority.”

Fry returned to the radio to call in a “1098,” the code for “all clear.” Fry and Tschida were back on the road, once again looking for trouble.

To learn more about volunteering with the Metro Area Motorist Assist program, contact Lt. Kevin Bridges of the Nebraska State Patrol at 402-331-3333.

Car Insurance Terminology

October 25, 2013 by

Insurance can be confusing. If it isn’t something that we deal with on a regular basis, the terminology can leave us even more befuddled. The following are terms that are used in “insurance talk” and what they mean to you.

Collision Coverage – This will cover your vehicle for physical damage caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.

Comprehensive Coverage – This is for non-collision-related damage that results from a covered loss such as theft, vandalism, hitting an animal, or falling objects like tree branches or hail.

Liability Coverage – This covers damage that your vehicle does to others and their property. If a person has liability-only coverage, their vehicle is not covered for a collision or comprehensive claim.

Premium – The amount you pay for your insurance coverage. This can be paid yearly, quarterly, or monthly depending upon your insurance company and the plan you select.

Deductible – The portion you are responsible for on a covered loss, as opposed to the portion the insurance company is paying. This is something that you select when you are choosing your insurance. Common deductibles range between $250-1000. This is paid to the shop when repairs are completed.

Betterment – This is an improvement to the value of what was originally on the vehicle. This happens most of the time with tires and batteries. If a tire or battery needs to be replaced, there can be a betterment charged to the owners, which is usually a percentage of the cost.

Rental Car Coverage – This will provide rental coverage for a specific amount of days while your vehicle is being repaired. This is an additional item to add to your insurance coverage for a minimal amount of money that, when needed, is really beneficial.

It is important to understand what type of insurance you have and what it covers. This is an abbreviated list of what I would consider the most important terms when there is a property damage loss. If you are unsure what your coverage is, ask your insurance agent to go over what types of coverage you have.

The Edwards and Kona the Cat

July 22, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Family is everything. Every parent knows that they would go to the end of the earth for their children and do whatever it takes to make sure that the members of their family are healthy and safe. But how do you define family? Where do you draw the line?

For Crystal Edwards and her two daughters, Veronika and Delanie, it was a question that they may have never really thought about but were faced with answering recently.

In May, 13-year-old Veronika was reviewing a paper she had just written for her English class. The theme: “Write about three things that you love.” She wrote about her family, her friends, and her cat, Kona. At the last minute— she cannot say exactly why—Veronika changed the final paragraph, in which she had described Kona as her child.

Later that night, as Kona crossed the street just outside their front door, a car sped through the residential neighborhood, ran the stop sign, and hit the nearly two-year-old cat.

Crystal, not wanting her children to see the cat in that precarious condition, took him immediately to the Animal Emergency Clinic near 156th & Dodge.

“The vet said Kona was in shock,” recalls Crystal. “His eye was protruding. It looked like he had broken bones, and he wasn’t able to stand. He was just shaking so much.”

When faced with the option of putting Kona down, Crystal asked what his chances were. “They weren’t sure but said that if he made it through the night, he’d have a 50/50 chance of living.” The veterinarian was able to establish that there were no broken bones; however, there may have been some internal bleeding, major head trauma, and a high probability that Kona would lose his right eye. A morphine drip kept him sedated and comfortable.

Kona survived the night, and while his prognosis was good, it would be a long road to recovery. Crystal would need to make some major decisions.

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“I knew that the girls could have one of two experiences in this moment,” says Crystal. “They could experience saying goodbye to a pet. Or I could teach them that, because he’s part of the family…we wouldn’t be limited in what we do for our pets.”

When Crystal was a young girl, she went through a similar experience when her cat was hit by a car. “I tried with all my strength to save up for medicines and food for him and to keep him alive,” she shares. “It just crushed my soul when, a while later, I had to put him to sleep.” She just couldn’t stand to have her own daughters go through the same pain.

Crystal acknowledges that the financial aspect of Kona’s treatment was a major concern. “Money really shouldn’t be a [factor], but sometimes it has to be.” During this time, the family was in the process of moving and expecting a baby. Money, unfortunately, was a consideration; but not one that would keep the family from doing all they could to keep Kona as a member of their family.

The bills mounted up: several overnight stays at the animal hospital, eight hours in an oxygen kennel, surgeries, medicines, a wired jaw, feeding tubes, and IVs. But again, how do you put a price on family or on love? Or on compassion?

Crystal expresses her gratitude to Jon Fink, DVM, of Animal Center West Omaha, the veterinarian who helped care for Kona. “He has been phenomenal,” she says. “He would call in the evening…to see if we had any questions, and we were able to bring him in to Dr. Fink daily for a few weeks to check on [his progress].” Crystal also says that the practice was very accommodating when it came to paying for Kona’s care. “He was a really great vet to work with…very responsive.

“Pretty much, the moral of the story was we wanted to do everything we could to keep the cat alive as long as he wasn’t in excruciating pain…and not to make money an issue.”

From climbing the once-insurmountable back-of-the-couch to wrestling with his old pal and family dog, Bailey, Kona is well on his way back to being his old self. And Delanie, Veronika, and Crystal couldn’t be more thankful.

What to Do When Your Vehicle Overheats

The summer heat not only affects us, it also affects our vehicles. Our vehicles are much more likely to overheat during the hot summer months.

It is important to do what you can to prevent your vehicle from overheating in the first place. Making sure to use the proper coolant for your vehicle is extremely important. Not all coolants are safe for all vehicles. Also, making sure that there is enough coolant in your system before driving is going to save you from a possible overheating scenario. If you notice that your vehicle is overheating—steam coming out of the hood and/or your temperature gauge going past the halfway mark and into the red zone—turn off your air conditioning and turn on your heat to full blast. Doing this will transfer some of the heat away from the engine to the inside of the vehicle.

Pull over, especially if there’s not a service station nearby, and turn the engine off. Pop the hood, but let it cool down before completely opening it. NEVER open the radiator cap while the vehicle is still hot; this is very dangerous. The radiator cap should be cool to the touch before opening. Look in the coolant reservoir to see if there is coolant in there. It is always a good idea to carry a bottle of coolant with you. In a pinch, you can use water.

If you have antifreeze with you, fill your reservoir with the coolant once your vehicle has cooled down. Your vehicle manufacturer should have stipulations on which types of antifreeze to use. Some are premixed; others need to be mixed with a 50/50 combo of coolant and water. If your radiator is not properly holding the fluid, there could be a leak somewhere, and it’s important to get it checked immediately.

If the vehicle does not seem to be cooling down, and there is not a service station nearby, it may be necessary to call roadside assistance for a tow.

Roadside Emergency Services

June 20, 2013 by

It’s July, and summertime is in full effect. This also means plenty of family road trips, most of which go off without a major hitch. However, if something does go wrong with your vehicle, it can make for a giant headache. Not to worry though, there are emergency roadside services out there that can help.

It may be well worth it to buy emergency roadside coverage in the event that you do have car trouble. Some of the services that these companies provide are:

  • Battery boosts
  • Battery replacement
  • Fuel delivery
  • Tire service
  • Towing
  • Lock-out services

The issues listed above can happen to anyone, yet are always unexpected. Prepare for the unexpected and make sure to either purchase an emergency roadside service or, at the very least, have the phone number of one such service. We are fortunate that these services are available to us, and one just might come in handy when that giant headache shows up!

ProTech Xpress

May 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

People are just so busy,” says Michelle Fouraker, cofounder of ProTech Xpress. “If you find a car on Craigslist during your break at work, it’s not like there’s a bunch of them sitting on a lot. There’s one. Call us up, we’re there, we’ll go.” Michelle, along with her husband, Jon, launched the vehicle inspection service in Omaha last September.

Drawing on his 25 years of experience as an automotive technician and used-car inspector, Jon takes his knowledge on the road, inspecting used cars on behalf of prospective buyers.

“It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for some time,” Jon says of the business. “You know, when I worked for dealerships, they didn’t always fix everything that needed to be fixed. They did it out of economics,” he explains. “You can’t afford to fix everything that needs fixed on a car. So I’m kind of out there fighting for the guy with his hard-earned money. I don’t want him to get ripped off.”

Prospective buyers can request an inspection by visiting protechxpress.com, where they can e-mail or call with a car’s information. If neither Michelle nor Jon picks up the phone right away, they’ll get back to a caller within the day, usually within a few hours. The inspection itself takes an hour.

“We’re going out to the car for you,” Michelle clarifies. “You don’t have to be there; we can e-mail you the report. We’re not trying to sell you parts, we’re not selling you repair service, we’re not going to recommend anybody to you. This is our 100-percent-unbiased opinion of the car.”

“We’re not trying to sell you parts, we’re not selling you repair service, we’re not going to recommend anybody to you. This is our 100-percent-unbiased opinion of the car.” – Michelle Fouraker, co-founder

After he receives a request for an inspection, Jon contacts the car’s owner and sets up an appointment to inspect the vehicle. Following the inspection, he doesn’t show the owner his report, however—that’s for the prospective buyer’s eyes only. For the most part, he just presents the facts of his findings. It’s not about advising someone to buy or not to buy.

If he finds something seriously wrong with the car right away, Jon will call the prospective buyer to let them know. “I’ll ask if they want me to finish the inspection,” he says. If the buyer says, no, thank you, they’ll pass on the car, Jon charges $25 for his time and moves on. A completed inspection runs $99.95 for two-wheel drive vehicles and $129.95 for four-wheel and all-wheel drives. If an inspection takes place outside the Omaha metro area, ProTech Xpress does charge extra for the mileage.

A five-page PDF is available for download on the site as a comprehensive sample of what the ProTech Xpress inspection entails. “It’s all in my head,” Jon says of the checklist, “all from experience.”

Michelle recounts one instance where the inspection uncovered that a car had indeed been in an accident, even though the vehicle’s CARFAX report came up clean. “You can tell with a paint meter,” she says. “The paint’s thicker where it’s been repainted, and there was a little bit of overspray on one of the tires. The car’s owner didn’t even know it had been in a wreck because they had bought it second-hand, too.” The buyer was able to take that info and request a few hundred dollars off the price of the car. “Which more than pays for the cost of the inspection,” Michelle adds. Jon has found rust spots covered with a nice paint job and some duct tape. Another woman was purchasing a used SUV from a dealer and, based on ProTech Xpress’ report, was able to receive a new set of tires for free from the dealer.

Eventually, the couple would like to franchise the business. “That’s the big goal,” Jon says.

Preparing for Road Trips

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Road trips can be a lot of fun, but they can also turn into a nightmare if you aren’t prepared. There are a few items that should be checked before you set out for your destination to ensure that your vehicle is as ready for the drive as you are.

  • Make sure to check all fluids—antifreeze, power steering, brake, transmission, and windshield wiper.
  • If you aren’t current with your oil changes, get it changed before leaving.
  • Inspect your hoses and belts for wear and tear. If something looks askew, take it to a trusted mechanic and have them take a look.
  • Check all tires, including the spare, to make sure that they’re in good shape and that the tire pressure is correct.
  • Be certain you have a jack and lug wrench in case you need to change a tire.
  • Check your battery to make sure there are no corrosions, cracks, or leaks.

I recommend doing all of these things a week in advance in case there are any problems. This should give you adequate time to take care of any repairs. There are also some items that are important to have along with you in case you do have car issues.

  • Gas can. Don’t wait until the tank is too low to fill up. On a road trip, it can be hard to know how far the next gas station will be.
  • Water. Make sure to have plenty of bottled water; the summer heat can be extremely dehydrating.
  • Phone charger. This should be used your entire trip to ensure your cell phone has a full charge.
  • Shade. Bring window shades, towels, and hats.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses. Just because you’re in the car doesn’t mean your skin and eyes can’t get sun-damaged.
  • Flashlight. Nothing is worse than being stranded in the dark.
  • Maps. We often use phones or the GPS on our vehicles, but having an actual map is necessary in case our electronics fail.
  • Walking shoes. Make sure you have shoes that are comfortable for walking in case you have to “hoof it.”

Be sure to prepare for your road trip and carry along a few extras just in case. With these few tips, you should be well on your way to a fun, safe trip.