Travelling is fun, it is exciting, and it gives you some time to bond with your friends and your family. When you take a road trip, you are not bound by someone else telling you when you need to go, stop or take a break. It can relax you and it can give you a chance to visit places you never thought you would. However, if you want your trip to be amazing, you need to prepare your car for the road.
Many people think that inflating the tires is going to be enough and when something happens and the vehicle breaks down, they are surprised.
To remove that element of surprise and to help you make sure you are going to arrive safely and on time, we created this guide. Check our tips on how to get your car ready for your next trip, and follow them to assure your vehicle is good to go.
1. Check the brakes
The first thing you need to do is to check the brakes. We forget about this thing until we see the light go off or until we almost hit something. If you have to drive for more than one hour, you have to make sure that your breaks will do their job if needed.
Since this is so important, it is better to take your vehicle to the mechanic to check it. You can try checking or changing them on your own, but if you mess something up, you risk damaging them and causing irreparable damage. So, it is better to be than sorry. Find a good and trusted mechanic and tell them to check if your brakes are working.
2. Check the oil
This is something you can do on your own with ease. Checking the oil works best when the engine is cooled down, so experts suggest you should do it early mornings when you haven’t driven your car yet. If you cannot do it before getting into your vehicle, then at least let the engine cool down for an hour and check it then.
Open the hood, and find where the engine oil is located. There should be a sign on it. Then take out the metal bar and wipe it. Put it in again and when you take it out, you will be able to read, at the bottom of the bar, how much oil you have left. If it is close to a minimum or if you are almost out of oil, you have to top it off. Depending on the vehicle you drive, you should purchase the right type of oil. Remember that you have to change it at least once per year.
3. Don’t forget the tires
You should regularly check your tires, especially if you have driven them for more than one season, but this is an absolute must before you go out on the road.
Check to see if they have the needed pressure, and do this at least three days before the travel date, inflate them, and check them again the day before your trip. If you notice that the pressure is down, then you need to take them to the service.
Don’t forget to check the spare tire as well, because even if your main ones are good, you don’t know what’s going to happen while you are traveling. You can invest in different devices like a tire check system, that you can easily install on all four of them, and connect it to your phone so you can check things out with ease. Don’t forget to put an electrical pump, so you can inflate them anywhere at any time.
If you decide to go with an application to check your tires, you should pay attention to where you put your phone. Looking at your device while driving is extremely unsafe, so you should think about getting a phone stand. There are a lot of different types of stands, and you can visit this page to check some reviews on which are the best ones.
4. Basic maintenance
There are some things that we always forget about, but we use them all the time. If you want your travel to be pleasant, then you have to check the filters before you go. Check the air filter, so you can make sure that you won’t be too hot or too cold while you drive. You should also pay attention to the windshield fluid and have one spare bottle with you just in case. If needed visit here to get the best info.
The windshield fluid can be purchased pretty much anywhere, but it is better to have it with you than to look for a gas station and lose valuable time.
Another thing that is crucial is the lights. Check the headlights, including the brake ones and the reverse lights. In case one of them is not working, you can easily change it on your own. Find a tutorial on YouTube and if this is your first time changing it, it may take you about 30 minutes. You can also get a few spare lights just in case. They are inexpensive and you can find them in most stores.
Checking the car battery is a must as well. If your car is having trouble starting, then the battery is coming to its end. However, sometimes there are no signs before the battery dies, so it is better to write on it the day you install it. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, you can change it on your own. Calling the service is an option as well, and nowadays there are a lot of services that will come to your doorstep, change the battery and take the old one with them.
Don’t forget to clean your vehicle before leaving. Take it to the car wash and always clean the trunk. Depending on how many people are traveling with you, you may need to get a rooftop trunk. Pack smart and travel light, remember that most of the things you need can be purchased anywhere. You should talk to your mechanic before you leave and maybe get your car professionally checked just to make sure everything is working properly.