Road trips are great, but only if you have a good and perfectly functional vehicle. If your car has various technical problems, you may see yourself forced to search for towing services to help you take it to the nearest mechanic.
This is going to cost you both time and money. In addition, such incidents can easily ruin your vacation, so it’s best to prevent them in the first place by preparing your vehicle for the big journey.
The long miles put on your vehicle during a road trip have a way of worsening any wearable-type items on your vehicle. Since many of our family’s road trip involve mountain driving, I ALWAY start with the brakes. Disk brakes and plates are easy to check by yourself, as a simple visual inspection would reveal abnormal degrees of wear and tear. In addition, if you hear squeaking noises whenever you push the brake pedal, you should take your car to a shop to have it checked, as this is usually a symptom of brake problems. If your vehicle has drum brakes, you won’t be able to spot potential problems, so you’ll need a mechanic to do it for you.
Also, if you’ve got any “nagging” noise issues – have it fixed as soon as possible. You may not mind this issue too much while driving inside your city or in the surrounding areas, but during long road trips when the miles are piling on, it can develop into a more severe problem really quickly.
Check Your Battery
Long distance driving, especially in the heat of summer, can do a number on your vehicle’s battery. So if you don’t want to jump start your car in the middle of Nowhere USA, you should look to do some necessary preventative maintenance. If you have recently changed your battery, you just need to examine it for fluid level and leakage and you will be good to go. However, if your battery is older than a year, it is best to replace it with a new one before your trip.
The dry cell batteries are more durable and require the least maintenance. If you are thinking about changing the battery, we recommend you go for a dry cell one. It costs just a little more than a normal battery but can save you from lots of stress.
Mind The Tires
Flat tires are the most common incidents that occur during long road trips. Before leaving home, you need to check your spare, in order to see if it’s still good. Moreover, you should check the air pressure in all other four tires. When the pressure is too low, the car is going to make a louder noise when rolling at high speeds. Besides, the fuel consumption tends to increase, as the friction between the tires and the road is stronger.
It’s hard to drive safely when you can’t see – so make sure to think about a plan for your headlights before you start on your trip. Since it’s super easy, I like to first check whether the beams are correctly positioned. You can do this by yourself, provided that you find a white wall to use your lights on. If not, you can go to your mechanic and ask him for help.
Also make sure to bring some extra functioning headlights as part of an emergency kit.
Check Vehicle Fluids
Long distance road trips put a lot of strain on a vehicle. This is why you need to check all fluids before you go. The motor oil, the gearbox oil, the cooling solution and the brake oil need to be within their normal functioning parameters. If you fear an accident that might lead to leaks, you should make sure you have some spare fluids with you. They shouldn’t take too much place in your trunk, anyway.
Take special care to ensure that the engine oil level are within normal limits. I always recommend checking while the car has been sitting for an hour to get the best read. Just like other fluids discussed above, make sure you take some spare oil with you, just in case.
Make An Emergency Kit
Last but not least, be prepared for any emergency situations with an emergency roadside assistance kit. There’s a bunch of good lists online but be sure to include items like blankets, an emergency triangle, rope and some canned food and water sullies, especially if you intend to take your trip during the cold season.
Nonetheless, in some areas the nights are quite cold, despite the high temperatures recoded during the day. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.