Are you heading out for a road trip soon? If so, you’ll want to take the extra time to make sure that your car is running at its best. The last thing you want is car trouble when you’re away from home! Here are some things you need to do to prepare your car for a road trip:
When your tires are in good shape, it helps your car run better. Make sure all four have good pressure and tread. Tire pressure is crucial for safe driving. Incorrect pressure can affect your car’s handling, braking, fuel consumption, and even your comfort during the drive. Driving on bald tires is especially dangerous on slick roads. Bald tires also cause tires to lose air pressure more quickly.
In addition to checking the tires on your car, you’ll want to make sure your spare tire is in good condition. If you get a flat while on the road, do you know how to fix it? Make sure you have the tools necessary. Tools required to replace a flat tire include a jack and cranking mechanism, tire wrench, and gauge.
Replace Air Filters
You’re going to be on the road where there’s going to be a lot of dirt, dust, and other debris flying around. Air filters prevent this gunk from entering the engine and interior and impacting the performance of your car. They’re inexpensive to change, so it’s worth doing before your road trip. This is a good time to make sure your air conditioner is running well. If it’s not cold, have it checked to see what the problem could be.
Check Fluid Levels
Before you hit the road, you want to make sure fluid levels are optimal. If they need to be changed soon, get them done before your road trip instead of waiting. Engine oil keeps parts moving smoothly and without friction. If levels are low or the oil looks black and gritty, it’s time to change it. Other fluids you must check include: radiator fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. You can have a professional check for all of these if you prefer along with a general maintenance check of your car.
Ensure All Lights Are Working
It’s important to make sure all headlights are working properly. Also check each blinker, the emergency lights, and the brake lights. Don’t forget to make sure inside lights are working as well. Lights are important for safety during your road trip. You also don’t want to get pulled over during your vacation because one is burned out.
Check Belts and Hoses
Drive belts and hoses can deteriorate with age and heat. Check the tension of the belts and look for fluid leaks and cracks or frays in the hoses, which indicate they need to be replaced. If a belt or hose should fail during your road trip, it could mean disaster for your engine.
Start your road trip off on the right foot by making sure your car is in its best condition possible.