• August 2, 2020

Thinking about a road trip? How to get back behind the wheel safely - Odessa American: Travel

e-Edition Subscribe

Thinking about a road trip? How to get back behind the wheel safely

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, June 26, 2020 12:49 pm

(BPT) - As the nation considers a safe and socially-distant return to work and travel, states are loosening restrictions on stay-at-home orders. As your car may have sat relatively idle over the last few months, the following tips can help ensure your vehicle is ready when you are, while you, the driver, stay informed and safe.

Whether you’re headed back to work, road-tripping to a state park, or simply making a grocery store run, thoughtful preparation can help you successfully navigate a safe transition back to the roads.

Maintain and repair: Give your car a thorough basic inspection

If your vehicle hasn’t been in use for a few months, it’s important to conduct a few checks before driving again. Batteries can drain, tires can lose pressure and worse.

  • Battery maintenance: Make sure your car battery is free of dirt and corrosion with a simple visual inspection. If it’s looking worse for the wear, check your driver’s manual for how to remove the battery and have a local auto parts store check its charge. Of all simple car repairs, a battery replacement is perhaps the easiest.
  • Air pressure and tire tread: Consult your drivers manual, then ensure your tires are in the right PSI range (typically 30-35) by checking their inflation with a tire pressure gauge. While checking your tire pressure, you should also evaluate the tread on your tires. This is easy to do by sticking a penny in the tread gaps with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the head is fully visible, it’s safe to say that you need new tires.
  • Motor oil: With minimal use of your car over the last few months, it’s a great time to consider changing your motor oil. It is a best practice to change your oil and oil filter as specified in your owner's manual. If you’re still using conventional oil, strongly consider switching to a synthetic motor oil such as Mobil 1™ motor oil. Synthetic motor oil offers improved wear protection and low/high temperature performance over conventional motor oils, particularly in modern turbocharged engines.

Think about your first refuel: Try to reduce surface contact at the pump

For customers filling up their vehicles for the first time in a while, many service stations are sanitizing surfaces and pump handles more frequently and encouraging the use of contactless payment.

  • Use mobile payment apps: Consider an option like the Exxon Mobil Rewards+ app to reduce contact with the pin pad, while also keeping your credit card information private and secure. A bonus for using Exxon Mobil Rewards+™ mobile app — you’ll also earn rewards points to redeem on gas and convenience store purchases.
  • Gloves, paper towels and sanitizers: For actual pump handle contact, a disposable glove or even one of the paper towels next to the squeegee can be used when holding the pump nozzle. Beyond that, always carry hand sanitizer in your glove box.

As you return to the roads, conduct thorough vehicle checks and take proactive measures at the pump to ensure a smooth and safe driving experience.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Partly Cloudy
98°
Humidity: 18%
Winds: ESE at 6mph
Feels Like: 98°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 99°/Low 72°
Partly cloudy. Lows overnight in the low 70s.

monday

weather
High 99°/Low 75°
Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 90s and lows in the mid 70s.

tuesday

weather
High 105°/Low 77°
Mostly sunny. Highs 103 to 107F and lows in the upper 70s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.