How to Prepare for Cross-country Car Travel

Cross-country Car Travel George and Martha plan to drive to New York on Interstate 80.  A long-awaited cross-country trip inspired a sense of adventure in the senior couple.  Always thoughtful in preparation, and not wanting to get stranded, George began to review a travel checklist for their 2002 Lincoln Continental.  He drove his Lincoln to John’s Auto Care to ensure basic maintenance was up to par.  Things like oil, tires, battery, headlights, tail lights, blinkers, wipers, brakes and the air filter. “Good morning, George,” John said, “how can we help you today?” “Morning, John. Martha and I are leaving for New York the day after tomorrow and we want to make sure the Lincoln is road ready.” “No problem, George, can you leave your car here for a few hours?” “Certainly.  I can go home and help Martha with the rest of the packing.” “George, before you go, do you have some time to discuss your emergency strategy should anything go wrong?” “Oh sure.  But you know, John, we keep a flashlight and extra blankets in the trunk.  What are some other things we might need?” John invited George to a cup of coffee and they sat down to discuss items that might prove helpful should any problem be encountered. Such things as:
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Blankets and sleeping bags
  • Jumper-box cables
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable foods such as granola bars, dried fruit,
  • Compass and a road map
  • Dry clothing
  • Cell phone or phone card and money for a phone booth
  • Sand or cat litter for tire traction
  • Rope – tie yourself to your car should you need to leave during a storm
  • First-aid kit
  • Pencil, pens, and paper
  • Shovel
  • Tow rope or chain
  • 3-pound coffee can to melt snow for drinking water
  • Knife
  • Flares and reflectors
  • Tire repair kit
  • Basic tool kit
“That is some list,” George said. “Yes it is! But we believe in your safety and protection and want you and Martha to be prepared for any problem you encounter.” “John, I have a set of jumper cables.  Why do I need jumper box cables?” “With a standard set of jumper cables, like many folks have, you need a second vehicle with a powerful enough battery to provide the additional thrust to get the other car started.  What if there is no other car available?” “I see your point.” “With a jumper box, you can get your car started on your own and keep it running until you are able to get to the next available place to replace your battery.” “I would hate to be stuck in the middle of no where, in the middle of the night, with no cell phone coverage, and a dead battery.  I’m wondering if you could go ahead and provide me with a jumper box cable along with the other maintenance you’re going to do today?” “You got it, George. And if there is anything else we can help you with, feel free to give us a call.” “Thank you, John for helping Martha and me get ready for our upcoming journey to New York.  It is always a pleasure doing business with you!”

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John's Auto Care is an auto repair shop in Boulder, CO. Our mechanics treat every repair like it's our own car.

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