Preparing Your Vehicle for a Road Trip
Buying a new vehicle is a big investment that you most likely plan to keep for a very long time. For this reason, it’s important to protect your investment by taking care of it properly, which includes regular maintenance checks and replacing worn tires. Taking care of your vehicle will give you peace of mind so you can travel to and from your normal destinations without worry. However, when you’re planning a road trip, you need to take a few extra steps to make sure your vehicle is ready for the drive.
Knowing your vehicle is in excellent shape and that you’re fully prepared for your trip will help to make your travels more enjoyable. Even when you take good care of your car, you still need to take extra steps to prepare it for road trips. Traveling long distances is much different from everyday driving and the following tips can help.
How to Prepare Your Vehicle for a Road Trip
If it’s been awhile since your last maintenance check, schedule one at least a week or two before you plan to leave just to make sure everything is in good shape. If you had one recently, you still need to check your fluids a day or two before you leave. This includes the oil and transmission fluid along with the power steering and brake fluid. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have windshield wiper fluid and that your wipers are in good shape. You don’t want to be caught in a rainstorm only to realize your wipers don’t work very well. You also want to double check your belts, hoses, spark plugs and your battery to make sure they’re in good shape.
Don’t forget to check the air pressure in your tires. Over-inflated tires will make your vehicle ride hard, which means that you can feel every bump in the road and that will make the ride very uncomfortable. Under-inflated tires make it difficult for you to control the vehicle. Both over and under inflated tires will wear your tires out faster and both can create a safety hazard.
Take Care of Last Minute Details
After preparing your vehicle for a road trip there are a few last minute details you need to take care of. The night before you plan to leave, fill up the gas tank and give your vehicle a good cleaning, especially the windows. This will help to get your trip started off on the right foot and riding in a clean car is just more comfortable.
Make sure your insurance is up-to-date and that you have emergency service such as roadside assistance on your insurance or AAA to help you out, just in case something did happen. Double check to make sure you have your World Atlas map in case you run into problems with the GPS system. You can never be too careful and it’s good to be prepared for the unexpected.
You should also make sure you have an emergency kit that includes jumper cables, flashlights, fresh batteries, water, emergency flares and a first-aid kit. Being prepared will help to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable road trip.