Road trips can be fun, exciting, and adventurous. However, unexpected mechanical breakdowns can take too much of your time, spoiling the vacation. Although car maintenance is a routine activity, doing it especially before hitting the road, assures you of a smooth ride to your destination.
Getting your vehicle trip-ready saves you from getting stuck in the middle of nowhere, particularly at night, reduces the chances of getting into accidents, and ensures you and your loved ones have an epic time. Here’s how to get your car ready for a road trip.
1. Check the lights
Ensuring your lights are in good condition and fully functional assures you of well-illuminated roads, enhancing road safety. Consider checking your taillights, headlights, fog lights, brake lights, and turn lights to ascertain they’re all working. If their glow isn’t as bright, consider checking out XK Glow or any other reliable parts dealer for quality lights, improving visibility.
2. Ensure your tires are in good condition
Since tires are the only car part that gets in direct contact with the road, ensure they’re free from defects and properly inflated, their treadwear is even, and their type and size are as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Consider getting the tires checked by a professional to take care of any visible damages like gouges and bulges. Ensure that the tire’s air pressure and rotation patterns align with the owner’s manual suggestions.
3. Check and change the fluids if necessary
Car fluids are essential for a vehicle’s functionality and longevity. Ensuring that your fluids are clean and at the correct levels enables the vehicle to function correctly, lowering repair costs. The fluids to check include brake oil which keeps the brakes functioning optimally, coolant for cooling the engine, engine oil which keeps the engine components clean and lubricated, power steering fluid that ensures smooth steering wheel maneuver.
You can also check the transmission fluid, which ensures seamless gear functionality, and the windshield wiper fluid for keeping the windshield clean. Replace the air filters according to car manual specifications.
4. Examine the belts and hoses
Engine hoses and belts are essential for keeping your vehicle’s cooling, power steering, and electrical systems working optimally. Get them checked to ensure they aren’t cracked or frayed. Since belts should be tightly installed, verify that they don’t have a huge slack amount. Ensure your hoses are checked for leaks and drips. Checking the recommended hose and belt maintenance intervals will help you determine you need to change them.
5. Check the car’s battery
A good car battery can last for three to five years, depending on its exposure to extreme conditions and your driving habits. It stores the energy that all the electrical components need to function. Car batteries ensure that vehicles start and have enough power to keep running.
If your battery is weak or damaged, the car’s system will find ways to keep running, straining the starter and alternator and later damaging them, making the engine less efficient while increasing repair costs. Practice taking preventive measures like regularly testing your battery to ensure recommended voltage and look out for corrosion issues.
Getting your car road trip ready ensures your safety and a smooth ride to your destination. Use the above tips to prepare your vehicle for your next road trip.