Road trips will always be tough on your car. By the time you’re through, it’s going to need repairs, and that’s just the part when you’re lucky. The worse situation is when your car breaks down in the middle of your road trip. You could be stuck in the middle of nowhere, waiting for a tow truck or hitching for a ride. This is why keeping your vehicle in top shape before a road trip is important – it significantly reduces the chances that the worst case situations will happen.
So before you start packing your stuff and mapping out your trip, make sure your car’s in condition for the trip. In most cases, how well your vehicle performs will dictate how exactly your road trip turns out. Keep the checklist below with you.
Know your fluids
Whether you’re talking about gas, radiator fluids, brake fluids, transmission juice or even the water for your windshield washer, they need to be full. There’s a reason why your car has all these features and, whether or not you do, you don’t want to realize how important they were at the moment when you’ve run out. Keeping your vehicle in top shape before a road trip also means knowing how to check if you’re almost running out of these fluids, so that you can plan your stops properly.
And because you don’t want your fluids to go to waste, make sure the hoses and belts are all in check as well.
Check your Tires
Don’t just bring a spare, make sure all your tires are in perfect condition days before you head out! The goal is to have tires that are in great condition that you’ll never have to use the spare at all (but that doesn't mean you shouldn't bring one).
Another important thing to note is that your ideal tire pressures depend on the weather. The hotter the season, the more inflated the tires have to be, so try not to inflate them too much during the winter. Otherwise, you risk the tires blowing up.
This one cannot be stressed enough as important. Brakes, in lack of a more subtle term, are lifesavers. You cannot go on the road without knowing your brakes won’t bail out on you.
Engine and Battery
Is your engine doing okay? The air filter might need some cleaning, especially when you use the vehicle a lot. A filtered engine guarantees a smooth ride. The engine and battery are your car’s core. Without it, you’re probably better off without a car. But that would just mean you can’t go on a road trip, right?
Wipers and washers
Whether or not it rains, you’ll want to make sure you can wipe your windshields clean when you need it.
Keeping your vehicle in top shape before a road trip should never be put off to tomorrow. When you know you’ll be hitting the road for a few days, you need to get it done so repairs and other necessary maintenance can be done as soon as possible.