Your Road Trip Checklist

If you’re one of the Southern Californians planning to travel by car this Memorial Day weekend, or embarking on a road trip this summer, make sure your vehicle (and its tires) are ready for the commute.

About 1.2 million drivers are expected to call AAA for help with a flat tire this summer, according to the Auto Club of Southern California.

Such emergencies can be avoided by continuing regular car maintenance and doing a tire inspection before a big trip, said Auto Club Automotive Research Center Manager Steve Mazor.

“The summer road trip usually goes hand-in-hand with hot temperatures,” Mazor said in a statement. “A road trip during the summer months typically involves driving in 90-to-100 degree heat. In those temperatures, breakdowns happen to cars that have not been maintained properly or those that haven’t been serviced for hot weather.”

The Auto Club recommends that drivers check the following maintenance items before hitting the road for a weekend or summer vacation:

  • Inspect the antifreeze-coolant level and condition to make sure it’s the right mixture for your vehicle and the coolant has been flushed and changed as recommended by the vehicle maintenance schedule.
  • Inspect and replace worn or cracked belts.
  • Check tires for uneven wear or excessive tread wear and make sure all tires, including the spare, are properly inflated before traveling long distances.
  • Check the level and condition of engine oil.
  • High temperatures can compromise batteries, so test and replace old or weak batteries before traveling in high heat. If the battery is more than three years old, have it tested.
  • Check the transmission fluid for the correct level (heat can break down the fluid over time.)
  • Inspect brake fluid for proper level and condition.
  • Inspect power steering fluid for proper level and condition.
  • Don’t leave home without fresh windshield wiper blades and washer fluid.

And, you probably want to gas up before hitting the road, right? Stations currently selling the cheapest gas in Manhattan Beach are listed below. Two of the local prices are according to and reflect prices reported within the last 24 hours. Manhattan Beach Patch confirmed ARCO’s prices by phone today at 8:15 a.m.

ARCO, 1002 Manhattan Beach Boulevard 

  • Regular: $3.99
  • Premium: $4.19

Mobil, 1865 Manhattan Beach Boulevard at Aviation Boulevard

  • Regular: $4.13
  • Premium: $4.34

76, 2121 Highland Avenue at Marine Avenue

  • Regular: $4.21
  • Premium: $4.43

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