Going on a road trip is a fun adventure you can take with the whole family or with a group of your closest friends. You may think your car is ready for the endeavor because it handles your commute perfectly well. However, your vehicle may not be ready to traverse hundreds or potentially thousands of miles. A little routine maintenance allows you to prepare for your trip and helps to avoid any unexpected or potentially extensive mechanical repairs.
Your car needs a lot of fluids. Everything from antifreeze for regulating your car’s interior temperature to oil for engine lubrication is essential. Check your coolant level to see if it is lower than normal. Vehicles need oil changes anywhere between 3,000 to 7,000 miles, depending on the type of oil your vehicle requires. If it has been a while since your last oil change, it’s definitely a good idea to have this service performed before you travel a great distance.
Your town may not be prone to a lot of rain or snow, but the cities you are traveling to might be completely different. You need to be confident your vision is never going to be impaired. You can wipe your blades on your own once every three months. A professional auto shop can tell whether the rubber is still viable and will replace them if necessary.
Your driver’s manual should tell you how much tire pressure is ideal. You can measure the PSI in each tire on your own to see if they are holding up. Just to be safe, it never hurts to have a spare tire handy in case a tire blows out while you are on the road.
Tread is just as important. The tread in your tires need to have more than a depth of 2/32 inch. Flat spots are a clear sign it is time to get new tires installed.
You should take your vehicle to an auto shop just to get the brakes inspected. Some of the signs that your brakes are beginning to wear down include:
- Squeaking or grinding noises
- Brake warning light frequently turning on
- More distance required to come to a complete stop
- Vibrations in your brake pedal
There may not be anything wrong with your car, but to be safe, it is a good idea to get a thorough inspection before a big trip. It is better to be safe than sorry, and you do not want your fun trip to be upended due to car troubles.