How To Prepare Your Car For A Road Trip
When you are planning on taking a road trip, you should be thinking about the condition of your car and making sure it's ready for a long trip. Even with a relatively new car and one that runs great, there are certain things to check before you go on an extended trip. Road trips can be very hard on your car and the last thing you want to deal with is a broken-down car 1,000 miles from home. Here are some different ways to prepare your car for a road trip.
Check the Fluids
One of the things you need to do shortly before you leave on your road trip is check all the fluids in your vehicle. These fluids may not seem important, but they can come between you and a very expensive mobile truck repair while on the road. Fluids to check include the water, coolant, engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, radiator coolant, windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid, and gasoline.
Inspect the Hoses and Belts
Part of checking your car before a long road trip is what you would expect during a tune-up, such as inspecting the hoses and belts. These need to be in good condition in order for a vehicle to be able to handle a long road trip. Check all hoses and belts, being sure they are in good working condition and that they are secured tightly.
Check the Tires
If you have ever had a blown-out or flat tire while driving down the freeway, you know how scary and frustrating this is. Even if you are experienced at changing a flat tire, you should not leave anything up to chance. During a road trip, you might end up on a stretch of road without any service stations nearby, so if the tire blows out, it is more difficult to get help. Avoid this type of situation by thoroughly inspecting your tires beforehand. If they are low on tread, get new tires before heading out on your journey.
Test the Brakes
Another potential catastrophe and expensive repair is having brakes that are not in their optimal condition. If you have been driving around town and notice the brakes are starting to squeak when coming to a stop, bring your car into a mechanic before going on your road trip. The more you drive with failing brakes, the harder it is on them. You can actually wear down the brake pads and drums, which are very difficult and expensive to replace.
The last thing to do before a road trip is by stocking up your vehicle. Have emergency supplies, such as a first aid kit, blankets, extra clothing, extra shoes, flashlights, food, and bottled water. You should also have supplies for taking care of minor repairs, like an empty gas can, spare tire, and jumper cables. Bring along extra fluid as well, including water, coolant, and motor oil.