Shop Now

April 01, 2016


Planning a road trip for business or taking the family on vacation? A good car inspection may come in handy to keep everything running smoothly.

Inspect the tires

A famous tire manufacturer says that your life is riding on your car tires, and they are right. Worn tires give less traction and are prone to failure. Did you know that tires have an expiration date? Your tires are good for about four years, learn to check by reading Determining the Age of a Tire.

Give your tires this visual once over:

  • Tire Pressure.  Keep a tire gauge in your car at all times.  You can pick one up for about $1. If your tire is bulging at the bottom your pressure is probably low. Use your pressure gauge and compare the level to the recommended air pressure posted on the driver’s side door or the manual.
  • Inspect for nails or other punctures. These can be fixed without having to replace the tire if taken care of before a rip starts to happen.
  • Evaluate the tread. Bald tires are a definite hazard and poor treads will affect your mileage. Place a quarter upside down in the groves at the center of the tire. If you can see the top of George’s head its time for new tires.
  • Look for uneven wear or cracking. Uneven wear can signal problems with your alignment or suspension. If you see cracking spreading into the sidewall replace the tire.
  • Check for sidewall bubbles. These are bulges along the sides of the tire.  They are usually the result of striking a curb, a pothole or a speed bump.  These bubbles are a sign that the structural integrity of the tire is damaged and can lead to a blow-out.  Make sure you turn your wheels and look at the side of the tire facing in as well.
  • Tighten the lug nuts. They can work loose over time. Use a tire iron and get them as tight as you can.
  • Check the spare. Don’t wait until you need it to evaluate the spare tire. Its always a good idea to replace the standard undersized spare tire that came with the car with a full sized tire. While you are at it, make sure the jack and tire iron are present and in working order.

Top off fluids

Take your car in for an oil change and have them check all of your fluid levels as well. Most oil change locations will also do a visual inspection of the vehicles undercarriage and grease up any spots that need it. Also have them check your air filters.

Get a good start, check your battery

Check the output of the battery and the terminals. If you have powdery build-up on the terminals remove them with some baking soda and water or a few splashes of Pepsi. If your battery is hard starting its best to replace it now than be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a car that won’t start.

Check the headlights, brake lights, hazard lights and turn signals. Replace your wiper blades just in case and give the windshield, side and rear windows as well as the mirrors a good cleaning.

Pack Smart

Your vehicle’s owner’s manual and the driver’s side door placard will list the load capacity. This figure includes all the passengers too so don’t overload your car. Exceeding this weight can be dangerous and will definitely affect your gas mileage.

Update your documentation. You should always have a current insurance card, registration and driver’s license. Don’t rely on electronic proof of insurance with your cell phone, print out a paper copy. While you are in the glove box, check your stock of extra fuses, bulbs, flashlight and batteries.

Keep an emergency kit in the car and check it before the trip. Things to include in the emergency kit are: first-aid kit, fire extinguisher (check the date on it), reflective warning signs, tire sealant, jumper cables, flash light with extra batteries, tool kit, drinking water and non-perishable food items (not including your trip snacks!) , blankets and duct tape.  Don’t bury your emergency kit under all the luggage, it should be readily accessible.

A few extra care safety tips

Clean out all the junk that has accumulated inside your car before you pack it up.  Give it a good vacuuming.

Charge all cell phones before leaving. They won’t help if they run out of juice during a break-down. A charged smartphone lets you be proactive and check your Kuna home security system whenever it detects someone is at the door.

Plan enough time for your trip to allow for getting stuck in traffic somewhere. Avoid traffic problems by traveling late at night or early in the morning, but don’t skimp on sleep if you leave at an odd hour. Driving drowsy is akin to driving drunk and falling asleep at the wheel can happen before you are aware of it.

Invest in a GPS device(or borrow one). Besides helping you get to your destination, GPS proves handy in findings a service station or rest stop along the way.  Don’t rely solely on a cell phone for directions as you may end up traveling through areas with no cellular coverage.

If you have kids along with you on a long trip, bring everything you need to keep them occupied: books, games, food, drinks and personal electronic devices (don’t forget the car charger). Bored children can become a distraction to the driver.

When in doubt, get a professional opinion

If you have any doubts about the safety of your car or see something during your inspection that concerns you or have any questions about your vehicles safety and functionality, take it in to a professional mechanic. An inspection will cost much less than an accident or breakdown while on a trip. Professional mechanics know all the areas to check and will evaluate things like your brakes, belts, hoses and lines that you might not be able to access.

There you have it. A few smart tips for great family safety at your next road trip.

A smart home security light

Kuna is a smart camera in an outdoor light that

lets you prevent break-ins instead of waiting for an alarm

Kuna Craftsman

Buy now

Kuna Contemporary

Buy now

Kuna Traditional

Buy now

You're always connected

We recommend you install Kuna  at all major entry points to your home so you’re never caught off guard when someone comes to your door. You can add multiple cameras to the Kuna app and your recordings will show footage from each of these camera.


The post Family Safety on the Road appeared first on Kuna.

Kuna Newsletter Signup

Save $20 on your first order.

Latest news, feature updates, and exclusive discounts.