One of the best activities anyone can have in their lifetime is road trips. Road trips are one of those experiences that people talk about even when they get old, and it’s an activity that everyone should take part in at least once in their life.
A lot of planning goes into making e a road trip successful, from food to entertainment, hotel reservations or camping materials, etc. But an essential part of every road trip is the vehicle. Before starting your road trip, you must ensure your vehicle is in top shape. In this article, we’re going to be discussing the best tips and tricks to get your car ready for a road trip. Without further ado, let’s get right down to it.
Get Your Battery Tested
The first thing you should do is check your batteries. You wouldn’t want to get on the road only to find yourself stuck because your battery can’t start your car. Many factors, including cold, heat, and aging, affect your battery life, so testing your battery before you begin the trip is vital.
You might e tempted to do it o your own, but in this case, it’s best to take your battery to a professional to get it properly checked. It’s free, takes little time, and will give you peace of mind. Professionals will tell you if you should replace the battery or not, and they can recommend the best battery available to you. Using professionals is a win-win situation.
Car fluids are its life and blood, and if you’re going to go on any trip, make sure the car fluids are newly replaced. Overheated engines might not be an issue on an average day. Still, it can be a disaster when on a road trip, so always ensure your coolant/antifreeze, transmission fluid, braking fluid, and engine oil are in top shape before you start your journey.
After checking that all your fluids are n order, you must pack spare cans of water, oil, and any other liquid you’ll need. There’s nothing better than being unprepared, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Like with your batteries, try to get a professional to check your fluids.
A ton of accidents have occurred because of bad wipers. When setting out on a road trip, understand that you’ll sometimes be driving through rough weather. You wouldn’t want to get in an accident on a rainy day because your wipers were terrible, would you? Then checking your wipers should be on your to-do list.
Make sure there are no chips or gaps on your wiper blades, and if possible, make sure they are less than five months old. If you’re going to be road-tripping during the rainy season, make sure you have specialized wipers equipped that work best with the rain. There are a lot of wipers in the market, so you might want to consult a professional on this.
CHECK TIRE PRESSURE
You’ll be driving your vehicle at approximately 550 miles per day for the duration of your trip, so before you start, it’s advisable to show your tires some love and make sure your tires are at the correct PSI.
You don’t need a professional to do this task. You can simply buy a tire pressure gauge and measure your tire pressure. Ensure that the pressure is at the correct pressure recommended in the owner’s manual. Having a spare tire is also advisable, and if you’re the cautious type, you can bring a portable tire inflator along for the trip.
CLEAN THE FUEL SYSTEM
If you use your vehicle daily without issues, it probably doesn’t need a severe fuel system cleansing. But you should still probably clean it thoroughly before you start your trip. You should not do this with a toothbrush and baking soda; you have to do it properly, with suitable materials.
If you don’t want to take it to a professional, you can buy a fuel additive that will remove the deposits and filter out dirt. You’ll need to follow the instructions on the bottle CAREFULLY and to the letter.
CHECK BELTS AND HOSES
If you hear a loud shirrrrkkkkkk sound when you turn on your car, you should probably drive it straight to the workshop to get your belts fixed. Even if you don’t hear the sound, you should check your belts and hoses before hitting the road.
Engine belts can stretch after prolonged usage, which affects power steering and causes engines to overheat. To know if your hoses and belts are in top shape, check for fractures or broken pieces. Those are usually signs of impending collapse, and you should get a new one.
Good brakes are usually the difference between an accident and a near miss. It should go without saying that your brakes should always be in optimal condition, but it’s doubly important when you want to go on a road trip. Luckily, brakes always tell you when they need changing, with an embarrassing squeal anytime you step o your brakes.
That’s not the only sign of worn ou brakes, though, so to be on the safe side, you should change your brakes before you start your trip, especially if you’ve not changed them in a while.
CHECK YOUR LIGHTS
Checking your lights is a simple but vital part of preparing for a road trip. When you’re sitting in the driver’s seat, chances are, you won’t be able to see if you have a burnt-out bulb, especially during the day. Make sure you check all your lights and pack spare bulbs in case of any emergencies.
The truth is, preparing for a road trip can be stressful. But you must realize that your vehicle is the most critical part of the trip. Without it, everything else falls apart. You should send the vehicle to a workshop for complete tuning before the trip, but if you’re going to tune it yourself, the above list should be your go-to list to get your car ready for a road trip.