If you plan a long road trip, you should check your car from all the sides possible to avoid unpleasant situations on the way to your destination.
What is your favorite transport means when it comes to long trips? Many people give preference to driving a car if they have one. Indeed, this type of traveling provides you with expanded opportunities and always allows you to change a route or make a stop wherever you like. However, if you don’t want to find yourself in trouble when you need to take your hard shell roof top tent and set a camp in the most inappropriate place, it is worth checking your car very carefully before the trip. Car trouble can ruin your mood and take time, so don’t leave things to chance. How can you get your car ready for a long road trip? First, you should make sure your car is within its service period and then perform the required car maintenance tasks to get your vehicle ready for the fascinating adventure. Such a conscious approach will help you save your nerves, money, and precious vacation time.
Check Your Car’s Battery
If you want your trip to go off without a hitch, you should carefully check your battery. The connection should be tight and without signs of corrosion because if you notice the latter, you should unplug the battery and use a wire brush to clean the plugs. If you want to save a penny and do everything yourself, you should be very careful and put on protective gloves since the battery contains corrosive acid that can get outside and irritate your skin when you try to force off the battery plugs. If your battery serves for about two years or more, you should check it annually.
Inspect Belts and Hoses
If you don’t want to find yourself in a situation when your car’s crucial systems break down, you should check its engine belts and hoses. They can fray or crack for various reasons, so your car’s power steering or electrical systems may start working with outages. Such a thing will hardly make you happy when you are far away from home and on your long-awaited vacation. Besides, it is important to check belts and how tightly they are installed because if there is slack, they cannot be considered secure. And don’t forget to check your hoses for stains and leaks. In general, you should follow the recommendations of your vehicle user manual for belts and hoses service periods. For instance, some cars demand replacements of these parts after 70,000 miles.
Refill Fluids and Replace Filters
Before you hit the road, it is worth checking all possible fluid levels in your car. Thus, it is crucial to check and refill engine oil, transmission, and power steering fluids if necessary. Of course, it will not be superfluous to check and refill windshield washer fluid too. And if it is almost time to change oil, it is better to do it before the trip. Talking about the liquids that should be checked, one should mention antifreeze since it should necessarily match the recommended level pointed in your vehicle user manual. Besides, bear in mind that even if its fluid level is okay, but you see floating particles in it, or it has become clear, you should change the fluid as well. And if you decide to change your antifreeze, it is worth checking the coolant tank for corrosion. And finally, you shouldn’t neglect to check the engine air filter since if it is dirty, it can result in problems with your car’s acceleration performance.
Check Lights and Electrical Equipment
Even if you don’t plan to drive at night, it is still worth checking all the lights – both interior and exterior. If some bulbs have burned out, replace them with working ones. When you plan a long road trip, every part of your car should work properly, even if it is about windshield wipers. They should remove water from the windshield without leaving any streaks. Usually, they should be changed twice per year. And of course, it is worth checking the air conditioning system, especially if your trip takes place in warm and sunny weather.
Check the Brakes
If you hear something like a squealing noise that comes from your car’s brakes, the chances are high that it is time to replace your brake pads. In general, this part should be carefully checked anyway if you don’t have any desire to get into an accident. It is crucial to constantly check the level of brake fluid to have working brakes.
Did you know that tire inflation affects your vehicle’s fuel economy? Thus, it is worth checking the tire pressure before you hit the road. They recommend doing it when the tires are cold. And don’t forget about your car’s spare tire as well. In general, it is worth checking the condition of your tires and how good your tire treads are. Thus, if there is uneven wear on the tires, you should rotate or replace your tires. Doing all these things before the trip will help you avoid unnecessary expenses and spending time in a repair store. If you don’t know how to check all these things, it is worth turning to a professional than turning a blind eye to all these moments.