If you are planning a road trip, it is important to get your car ready for the trip. Much of it is routine maintenance, but when you are going on a long trip it is best to get this maintenance tended to before you leave.
- Check the tire pressure
Before going on a road trip, you should always check your tire pressure. The reason it is so important is that if your tire pressure is low then they will be flatter than they should be. They will get warmer and will be put under more stress than they are intended to be, and it could result in a blowout.
- Get a tune-up
Getting a tune-up before a long trip has many benefits. The most important one is that it will reduce the chances of having a breakdown during the trip. Furthermore, with a properly tuned engine, you will also be getting better gas mileage because your vehicle will be running at its best performance. The cost of tuning up a vehicle depends on the size of the engine, tuning up small SUVs can cost less than large cars.
- Check the brake fluid
Checking the brake fluid and topping it off, if necessary, is needed to ensure that the brakes work properly. It is not only important for emergencies, but you also want to stop when you get to where you’re going!
- Check the transmission fluid
Checking the transmission fluid and topping it off, if necessary, is needed for an automatic transmission to work right. The last thing you need on a long trip is for your transmission to overheat and fail. Your car will not move without the transmission working, and they are expensive to fix.
- Check the lights
Checking to ensure that all the lights on your car are working, so that any bulbs can be replaced will prevent problems on the trip. Not only do you need your headlights if you are still on the road when it gets dark, but you need your signal and brake lights as well.
- Get an oil change
Getting an oil change before a long trip is important when travelling any significant distance. A trip from New England to California and back will mean you’ll need an oil change. Change it every 3,000 miles, though you should really do it prior to the 3,000 mark.
- Get the battery checked
Getting the battery checked and replaced if needed is an important part of preparing a vehicle for a long trip. If your battery goes bad on a trip, you may have a hard time replacing it. Having a bad battery could get you stranded in the worst places.
- Check the coolant levels
Checking the coolant level and topping it off, if necessary, is needed to prevent overheating. On a long trip, your engine is running for hours, so without proper coolant levels, it can overheat.
- Get the suspension checked
Before a long trip is also a good idea to get the suspension checked. On such trips, your suspension gets quite a workout and a suspension breaking at highway speed can be deadly.
- Get your brakes checked
Having your brakes checked before a long trip is important for both large and small vehicles. It is, however, more important if you are towing a trailer. If your brakes go out on a trip, it will be a bad day.
Having some routine maintenance on your vehicle before going on a long trip is important. It will prevent you from having problems on the road, and it can even protect your life.
Image Credits: Dino Reichmuth