Long road trips can be exciting adventures with lots of great memories. To ensure your trip is fun and safe, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is road-ready. Before you embark on a long road trip, perform the following checks so you can focus on sightseeing and good times.
Check your tire pressure with a simple tire gauge to ensure all tires are evenly inflated. You can find the recommended inflation on the door panel. And don’t forget to pay attention to your spare and jack. Double-check that your spare tire is properly inflated and in good shape. Also, locate your jack and make sure it’s appropriate for your vehicle.
With so many moving parts, your vehicle depends on fluids in the system to lubricate it and keep it running efficiently. Make sure you replenish these fluids before embarking on a long car trip. This will keep your engine, steering, and other systems functioning smoothly.
Power steering fluid
Windshield washer fluid
3. Belts and hoses
It’s easier than most people think to check hoses and belts under the hood. Do this when the car is cold, meaning it hasn’t been driven in at least 30 minutes. Check hoses by giving them a squeeze. They should be springy, not squishy or soggy. When examining belts, they should look like new. If anything looks cracked or frayed, have a professional look at it. You may need to have these parts replaced.
When it comes to driving, don’t discount the importance of stopping. Before you leave on a long road trip, pay attention to your brakes and look for warning signs like unusual noises, vibrations, a soft feeling or pulling to one side when you brake. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to get the brakes get checked out by a mechanic and replaced if necessary.
5. Lights and turn indicators
Checking the lights on your car is an easy process, a quick fix and a sure-fire way to avoid a ticket. Before you head out on the road, have a friend take a look at your headlights, taillights, brake lights and indicators to be sure they’re all working properly. If not, it’s easy to pick up a replacement bulb at an auto parts store and fix the problem yourself.
6. Windshield wipers
Windshield wipers should be changed every six months. If it’s been awhile since you replaced them, pick up a new pair at your local auto parts store. They’re sold according to the make and model of your car. All you do is remove the old ones and snap on the new ones.
Check these components during the month before you leave on a long road trip. This leaves you ample time to fix any problems you find. In addition to this checklist, prepare for your car trip by packing basic equipment and supplies like jumper cables, flares, a cell phone, a gallon of water, snacks and blankets. Another way you can make your trip safer? Practice defensive driving. Before you leave, take the time to learn more driving safety tips and read advice on car safety for kids.
Be sure to carry appropriate license, registration and proof of auto insurance coverage in case you are pulled over. Get a free online auto insurance quote from an insurance company like Nationwide Insurance today.