Road trips are a great way to get away from the stresses of normal life. It’s just you (and perhaps a few loved ones), your car and the open road as you travel through beautiful scenery.
In order for any road trip to be successful, proper planning is necessary. First of all you need to consider what the best route is and then pack all of the essential supplies. More importantly, you need to make sure your vehicle is up for the challenge.
Road trips can take quite a toll on your car. However, if you take the right preparatory steps, it should be able to handle the trip just fine. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Inspect Your Tyres
Whenever you’re getting ready to go on a long drive, always pay special attention to your tyres. First of all, make sure that they’re not too worn out. If they are, you should have them replaced before you set out on the trip.
Pay attention to the pattern of wear on the treads too. If it’s significantly uneven, then it might point to a problem in the alignment. In that case, you should take your car to a mechanic and get it adjusted.
Finally, check if your tyres are probably inflated. Both underinflated and over inflated tyres increase the risk of your suffering a blowout.
Check That the Exterior Lights Are Working
When you’re on a road trip, you may have to do some night-time driving. Therefore, you should make sure that your headlights and taillights are working perfectly. In addition, check whether there are any problems with the turn signals.
Take Care of Any Warning Lights on the Dashboard
Do not set out on your trip of the check engine light is on. Instead take your car to the mechanic and get it looked at right away.
If you have an OBDII scanner, you may be able to work it out yourself. Plug in the scanner and to the connector port located below the dashboard and check what code is displayed on the screen. If you’re not familiar with the codes, a simple Google search should help you identify what the problem is.
Pack an Emergency Toolkit
Sometimes your car can break down randomly without warning. Hence, you want to be adequately prepared for such a scenario with an emergency toolkit. Here are some of the items that you should include in it:
- Tyre patching kit
- NOCO charger for charging your car’s battery
- Jumper cables
- A rain jacket
- Plenty of food and water
- A flare gun
Check the Fluid Levels
Your car needs several fluids at optimal levels in order for it to run properly. Oil is obviously a very important one. Use a clean dipstick to check its level and the colour. If it’s either translucent or a bit yellowish/greenish, then you have nothing to worry about.
In addition you should top off automatic transmission fluid, coolant, antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, radiator fluid and brake fluid if necessary.
Road trips are quite fun and can help you eliminate stress. However in order for it to be a completely stress-free experience, you have to make sure your car is up to the challenge of a really long drive.