Get your vehicle ready for a road trip!

Get your vehicle ready for a road trip!

It’s time to plan your route, pack your bags and pile in the car. But before you do any of that, make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey. Let’s take a closer look at everything you’ll need for a road trip to remember.

Let’s take a closer look at everything you’ll need for a road trip to remember.

BT SUMMER masthead 3

Can my car handle a road trip?Can my car handle a road trip?

Don’t set out on the scenic byways without making sure your car can safely deliver you to your destination. Call or visit your local Belle Tire for a thorough, professional inspection. This handy checklist can help get you started on what to look for.

bald tire

Inspect your tires

Tires connect you to the road so make sure they’re ready for action. If you notice shallow tread depth, worn sidewalls or other signs of distress, consider getting a new set that will best suit the conditions of your route and destination.

Check your brakes

Make sure your brake pads, rotors and fluids are in good condition and will perform when needed. Vehicles weighted down with passengers and luggage demand peak brake performance for added safety.

A Belle Tire tech in a red shirt is inspecting brakes.
Interior view of a black air conditioning vent.

Test your air conditioning

It’s summer, so a functioning A/C should be high on your list. Checking air filters, compressors and refrigerants can help ensure you won’t be sweating it out for long stretches on the highway.

Check lights and blinkers

Check all lights in the front, rear and interior. If any appear dim or dying, check the fuses and/or replace the bulbs.

Light Summer RT
Wipers-summer RT

Inspect wiper blades & top off wiper fluid

For any road trip, it helps to see the road. Wiper blades should be in good shape, and it’s always a good idea to top off your windshield wiper fluid.

Test your battery

We’re positive of one thing: a dead battery on a road trip is negative fun. Take a look for leaks, cracks or bad connections and check its charge. Swing by your local Belle Tire for a FREE battery test.

Battery dying 50 50
Fluid Check Summer RT

Do a fluid check

It’s never a bad idea to make sure all your vehicle’s fluids (water, wiper, transmission and more) are full and fresh. It’s a simple check that can save a lot of headaches later on.

Schedule an oil Change

Driving a long distance? An oil change is a good idea to keep your engine running smoothly. If you think you’ll surpass the mileage for your next scheduled service on your trip, go ahead and get it done before you head out.

A Belle Tire tech in a red shirt and safety glasses is pouring motor oil into
the engine bay.
Alignment bay

Check your alignment

Before you hit the open road, make sure your vehicle is properly aligned. Having your vehicle set in place, your steering wheel centered, and all four wheels set parallel allows you to have a safer driving experience, get better gas mileage and prevent premature tire wear.

Road trip hacksRoad trip hacks

How to get the maximum mpg

When you stop to fill up, take advantage of the station’s free air machine. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in average tire pressure. On a road trip, that adds up fast. Keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendation to get the most out of every mile.

How to catch things between the seats

Spend enough time in the car and things are bound to fall between your seats that can easily be grabbed with fingers alone. Bring along a pair of thin salad/toaster tongs to easily grab anything that wedges inself into those impossible-to-reach spaces. 

How to Keep Drink Holders Clean

Easily keep cup holders clean and tidy by utilizing cupcake liners/baking cups. Slip one into each holder and toss them whenever they’ve collected too many crumbs and random debris. 

How To Easily Take out the trash

Plastic cereal containers make a great mini trash receptacle that fits perfectly in the floorboard. Just pop in a small plastic bag and you’re all set to keep the car clean. 

How to keep your car smelling good

Attach a dryer sheet to the sun visor for a cheap, distraction-free air freshener. Traditional car fresheners that hang from rear view mirrors can obstruct sight lines and are now illegal in some states. 

How to keep things contained

Shower caddies with suction cups make great travel companions. Attach them to backseat windows to conveniently secure the kids’ pads, markers, gadgets, snacks and more.

Road trip tips & tricks

  • Spare key
    Spare key

    One of the hardest things to replace far from home is a car key, so be sure to pack your spare and keep it separate from your main key. 

  • Spare tire
    Spare tire

    A spare tire is there to bail you out of a flat tire jam. But if your spare isn’t in good working order, that jam (and your car) isn’t going anywhere without a tow truck. Give it a good check before departure. 

  • Medical bag
    Medical bag

    The glove compartment is the perfect spot for a small bag containing the medical essentials (first aid kit, pain meds, car sickness bag, inhaler, etc). It can literally be a lifesaver. 

  • Hitch basket 2
    Pack smart

    If at all possible, try not to put luggage on top of the vehicle. This hurts the vehicle’s aerodynamics, adds weight and ends up burning more gas. If you have to use the roof, cover and bags with a strong sheet and tie everything down tight. A great, afforadable alternative is a hitch basket that tows behind your vehicle, eliminating drag.

  • TP
    TP is A-OK

    Sometimes nature calls and doesn't care if it’s convenient to answer. Pack a couple of rolls of toilet tissue and keep it handy just in case. 

  • Phone Lock screen
    Cell smarts

    If you lost your phone and it was found by a Good Samaritan, would they be able to contact you? Just change your lock screen to an image that displays emergency contact info, an email address and an alternate phone number. The chances of you getting it back are greatly improved. 

Road trip tips for familiesAre we there yet?

Traveling with kids can be challenging. Here are some ideas to keep them occupied, entertained and looking ahead on your journey.

Road trip bingo 

Pre-trip, make up some bingo cards with things you’re likely to see while driving. Instead of listening for numbers, the little ones have their eyes peeled for things like out-of-state plates, police, planes, cyclists and more.

En route countdown cards 

To help end the barrage of “are we there yet” inquiries, create a road trip countdown with a string and attach some cards listing the places you’ll pass along the way to your destination. When you reach a milestone, remove that card. Best of all, the kids will always know what lies ahead. 

Goodie bags for good behavior

Packing small bags with special treats and snacks can help promote well-behaved passengers. Set a point along the route where the bags will be opened, but only on the condition that the kid has earned it.  

Backseat artistry 

Nothing sparks a kid’s creativity like self expression. Bring along some washable markers and let the kids draw their hearts out on the windows right next to them (but also be sure to bring some window wipes as well). 

Listen and learn

Depending on the age of your kids, they may actually want to pass the time by doing some reading. Unfortunately, reading in a moving car can be a recipe for nauseous disaster. Luckily, audiobooks have never been more plentiful and accessible. Download a few for them on your kids’ devices before you head out.

Your one-stop-explanation-shop!

We know buying tires and servicing your vehicle can be overwhelming and darn right confusing. That's why we've assembled all the information to help simplify tire selection, vehicle maintenance and repair.

  • tires on a rack
    Tire Buying Guide

    Choosing the right tire can be challenging. There’s a lot to consider before you buy, so let's make sure you are getting the right tire for your vehicle and your budget.

  • Oil Change 2 Spring
    Spring maintenance

    Extreme weather can take a severe toll on your vehicle. After this past winter, it’s wise to check out these essential services to make sure your car is safe and ready for spring.

  • Black tires are lined up in a row.
    Electric Vehicle Tires

    The right tires for your electric vehicle can optimize your car's performance and maximize your range. Check out the top factors to consider before choosing your tires for your EV.

  • Road trip-card sie
    Roadtrip tips

    The open road is calling. Before you answer, check out these helpful hints to make the journey more enjoyable.

  • Gas pump3
    Get more out of your gas tank

    With gas prices being high, a little bit of vehicle maintenance can go a long way in improving your gas mileage.

  • Michelin tire
    Protecting Your Tire Investment

    You want to get every possible mile out of your tires. We want to help you do it. 

  • bald tire
    Replacing Tires

    Knowing when to replace your tires boils down to two simple words: safety first. Keeping track of your tread depth and the age of the tire are two important factors in determining if they’re still safe and road-ready.

  • Rack of tires 2
    Tire Types

    Understanding all the different tire types can be overwhelming. Lets take a closer look to find the right tire for you.

  • Rack of tires
    Tire Sizes

    Before purchasing any tire, you need to be sure you’re getting the right size and type for your specific vehicle. Knowing how to find this important info and what it means will help you make the right call.

  • Tread pattern image
    Tread Patterns & Components

     Learning more about the various features of a tire’s construction can help you determine the perfect fit for your specific vehicle, driving style and surroundings.

  • A hand is using a tire pressure gauge to check the amount of air in a tire.
    Inspecting Your Tires

    A good rule of thumb is to inspect your tires once a month. When you bring out the gauge to check your tire pressures, it’s a good time to give the actual tires a checkup too.

  • Alignment spring

    Aligning your tires regularly helps reduce premature tread wear and improves gas mileage.

  • Tire pressure gauge closeup
    Tire Pressure

    Having your tires properly inflated is the fastest, simplest and cheapest way to make sure your vehicle is getting better gas mileage.

  • Brake inspection

    We offer free safety brake checks for everyone. Because keeping up with proper brake maintenance will save you money and keep you safer on the road.

  • Shocks struts card. imagepng

    Everyone wants a vehicle that drives smoothly and safely. Let’s explore the basics of your suspension system.

  • Tread depth check
    Tire Maintenance

    Regular tire maintenance is essential for getting the most out of your tire investment.

  • How long do batteries last 50/50
    Battery services

    Our friendly battery experts not only offer replacements and installments, but also free inspections.

  • TPMS icon
    Tire Pressure Monitor System TPMS

     If you see the TPMS icon illuminated, check the pressure in all four tires as soon as possible.

  • A side view of a black wheel rim that reads, “Motor City Customs”.
    Wheel Care

    Tires aren’t the only thing that keeps your vehicle rolling smoothly. Proper care for your wheels helps them last longer while making every trip safer.

  • Winter tire tread in snow
    Winter Maintenance Tips

    To truly enjoy this holiday season, keep your motorized sleigh running smoothly. Being stranded on an icy roadside is no one’s idea of a winter wonderland. Let’s take a look at some simple steps you can take right now.

  • Winter Mobile masthead
    Winter/Snow Tires

    If you’re considering winter tires, also known as snow tires, there are several things you should take into consideration. Here’s everything you need to know about winter tires and how to find a set that’s right for you.

You're covered with us!

    A plan to protect your alignment

    Potholes, curbs and other road hazards are just waiting to mess with your wheels. After your next alignment at Belle Tire, an additional $35 gets you unlimited wheel alignments for the next 12 months. This helps protect your investment by getting every possible mile out of your tires (and saving you up to $144 during the year).

  • tires on a rack
    Industry-Leading Tire Protection Plan

    Belle Tire is ready to repair or replace your tire if it fails due to faulty workmanship or materials, or a non-repairable road hazard. This plan is good until the tire has 3/32 inch tread depth remaining, or 3 years from the date you bought it, whichever comes first. Just pay for it when you purchase the tire.

  • Tire install
    Tire Installation Package

    Our experts don’t just install your tires, we send you on your way with access to more free lifetime services than any of the so-called competition. Free lifetime alignment checks, tire rotations, spin balancing, flat repairs and more will help you get the maximum mileage out of your tires. 

Don’t keep your new tires waiting.

Don’t keep your new tires waiting.

We’ll help you find the perfect tires in a few steps.

We’ll help you find the perfect tires in a few steps.

Or search by tire size
Michelin-Defender-4 tire