How To Ruin Your Summer Road Trip in 6 Easy Steps

LaFontaine Automotive Group —  June 2, 2014 — Leave a comment

If you’ve been following along with us here on, you’ve noticed that summer time means travel time.

According to a survey done by TripAdvisor, three in four summer travelers take a road trip by car which means that there’s a pretty good chance you’re going on a Road Trip of your own in the near future.


While I’ve been working hard to give your my best tips for having a stress-free road trip, I thought I would take a different approach with this article and show you how you can quickly ruin your summer vacation in just a few simple steps!

Now obviously I don’t suggest doing any of these things, but it should hammer home just how easy it is for a road trip to go awry if you’re not properly prepared.

So are you ready to ignore the busy roadways, your vehicle maintenance and summer madness in general? Me too, here we go!

1. Fluids? My Car Doesn’t Need Stinkin’ Fluids!


Car fluids react differently in various temperatures and your car probably worked pretty darn hard this past Winter. That means if you’ve been waiting the past three to six months to bring your vehicle in for service, you are ripe to have an epic-fail of a road trip.

One of the quickest ways to ruin your road trip is to not perform any maintenance on your car before you hit the road.

Check your engine oil to make sure it’s thick, sludgy and black if you really want mess up your trip less than halfway to your destination.

And don’t even think about getting a tune-up, checking your tire tread depth & pressure, or giving your vehicle a comprehensive multi-point inspection. To truly ruin your road trip, you’ll want to leave everything on your vehicle just the way it is.

Remember there’s nothing quite like burnt-out fluids to deteriorate the functionality of your engine, worsen your fuel economy and alter the moods of your once happy passengers.

2. I’m Too Cool for Coolant


It’s going to be hot this summer. Really HOT.

Normally I’d suggest that before you hit the road, you get a coolant flush to prevent your car from overheating.

But you’re too cool for that. I mean that antifreeze stuff lasts forever, right? (no, it doesn’t)

While coolant is designed to remove excess heat by transferring it from the internal combustion engine – you’re looking to ruin your road trip and break down at the worst time possible so don’t touch a thing!

Blissfully ignore this little tidbit and you’ll be stranded on the side of the road in no time!

3. Speed Limit, Schmeed Limit


“I swear officer, I was just cruising with the flow of traffic. I had no idea I was going 85 miles per hour”

Feel free to use this line when you get pulled over for speeding. I’m sure the State Trooper who pulled you over will take your word for it and let you off the hook.

Or not.

While I would never truly suggest you throw caution to the wind and drive like a maniac on the crowded summer roads, speeding is another sure-fire way to ruin your road trip (just ask my Dad).

Let the snow-free roads give you a false sense of security and put safety in the back seat all in an effort to arrive at your destination as quickly as possible.

I’m sure it will work out just fine…

4. Michigan’s 5th Season


Did you know that Michigan is known for it’s five seasons? If you lived here for any length of time, you know there’s Spring, Fall, Winter, Summer & Road Construction Season.

As soon as the warm sun starts to thaw out our snow covered roads, the local Michigan highways seem to immediately sprout numerous orange barrels, cones and barricades that stretch for miles and miles and miles.

But you, the person who is looking to make their road trip as miserable as possible, welcome the congested construction traffic.

After all, what’s more exhilarating than creeping along the freeway at upwards of 8 miles per hour as you merge from four lanes of freeway down to one?

As far as you’re concerned, the more construction the better. There’s no need to use a smartphone navigation app like Waze which will direct you around congested roadways or construction zones in real time. What fun would that be?

5. Leave Behind Whatever Doesn’t Fit in a Single Bag


Ok, I’ll admit it. I’ve been accused of not packing appropriately for vacations.

I speak from experience when I say that trying to jam a weeks worth of clothes and supplies into an overstuffed duffel bag is normally a terrible idea.

However, you are on a mission to ruin your road trip, so just snag what you think you and your family might need and throw it in a plastic grocery bag or two and worry about the rest later.

No need to over-think packing right?

6. Ignore The Warning Lights


Since you didn’t bother to perform any maintenance on your vehicle before you hit the road, you should expect to see various warning lights come on soon after your journey has begun.

Check engine light? No problem! Engine Overheating? No big deal! Just tape a piece of paper over each warning light and, voilà, problem solved!

When the low fuel indicator comes on, turn it into a fun car game. Have each passenger guess how many miles you can drive before you are out of gas and stranded on the side of the road (again).

As you can see, there’s no shortage of misery that can be had by ignoring the warning lights on your vehicle.

Well there you have it folks – 6 quick and easy ways to ruin your road trip this summer.

I’ll just say it again in case you missed it in the beginning. Please DON’T do any of the things listed above. In fact, you’ll be much better off if you do the opposite.

Now that you know how to ruin your road trip, I’m sure you are interested in doing whatever you can to ensure your road trip is a safe and happy one.

Schedule an appointment with your local LaFontaine Service Center (we service all makes and models) for at least an oil change and a complimentary 27 point inspection before you hit the road. Our service technicians will be able to advise you on any other maintenance your vehicle may need to ensure your journey is a smooth one.

Do you have a story of a road trip gone wrong? Share it with us in the comments section below.

Safe Travels!



LaFontaine Automotive Group

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Founded in 1980, the award winning and nationally recognized LaFontaine Automotive Group includes 33 franchises, 4 Collision Centers in 16 Michigan locations and employs over 1400 people. It’s the mission of the LaFontaine Family to personalize the automotive experience by building lifelong relationships that connect families and strengthen the community. The Family Deal: It’s not just what you get, it’s how you feel.

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