If you are planning a road trip, then there is one major thing you need to consider before you take off. You are about to put a lot of stress on your vehicle, and you need to know whether it’s up to the task. Your safety is paramount, and checking your car is the first step to ensure you return in one piece.
The Major Checks
- Check Your Oil. If your oil change date is soon, then you should probably take your car in for an oil change before you head off. Long trips add stress to the vehicle. Just topping up your oil isn’t the same. If you aren’t due for an oil change, a top-up is more than sufficient.
- Check Fluids. Check your power steering, brake fluids, as well as coolant and windscreen fluids. It’s the best way to avoid an unnecessary breakdown or an accident on the road.
- Check Tire Pressure & Tread. Your tires ground you, and if you neglect them it can have dire consequences. The tire will tell you what pressure it should be at. Too much air can cause a blowout, while too little can cause excess fuel usage and hotter tires. Check your tire pressure with a gauge and fill them at your local gas station. You can do this when you fill the gas tank before you head out on your trip. You should also check your tire wear. You can pick up a cheap tread gauge to do this. You can also use a penny. Stick Abe into your tread headfirst (facing you). If you can see all of his head, then it’s time to change your tires. They’re dangerous.
The Important Checks
- Check Lights & Signals. Ask a friend to check your lights as you run through your signals. You should always keep spare bulbs in your car just in case, but especially in the case of a long trip.
- Check the Car Battery. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a new battery, you’ll want to check it.
- Check Your Emergency Equipment. Just double check to ensure you have all of the emergency equipment you will need in the event of a breakdown. You should also have a fully stocked first-aid kit.
Once you’re home safely from your trip, there are some checks you should carry out.
- Wash your car. Make sure you clean out the inside of your car, too. Your car has been through a lot so, help it recover.
- Repairs. If you experienced any difficulty on your journey, then deal with it as soon as you return home. Take it to your local mechanic immediately.
With the summer incoming, you probably have a lot of exciting trips and adventures planned. You want to enjoy the heat and your family in safety so, make sure your car is up to the task. Just don’t forget a good supply of snacks!