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Get Your Car Road Trip Ready Using These Useful Tips

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Correct me if I’m wrong but we all need to take a road trip more than ever nowadays. This is one way of breaking your weekly monotonous schedule for most of us and getting a chance to explore your hometown’s breathtaking views and features. Taking a road trip down to the beach or the National park with your friends and family will have you making worthwhile memories. Though it’s important to note that long drives put more strain on your car’s mechanicals. The last thing you want is getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. The good news is that this can be prevented by taking proper steps to get your car ready for the trip.

Check out this pre-travel checklist for your car…

Check your tire pressure

If there’s one important thing you should always check before leaving your house is your tires. Going on a road trip with underinflated tires is a recipe for disaster and you’d be inviting trouble for you and your car’s occupants. You can visually check your tires for any tears, cuts or embedded nails that may cause a puncture. It is advisable that you check for all these a few days before you travel in case your tire has major issues that may need special attention. Don’t forget to check the spare tire as well. When adding pressure to your tire, ensure you add it as recommended in the manual as improper pressure causes stress to the car, makes your tire susceptible to blowouts and causes uneven tire wear.

Check your headlights and turn signals

Ensuring your lights are working not only keeps you safe but also other road users. Before you head out, turn on your car, switch on your headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals for inspection. You could have someone else around to check the brake lights. If any of the lights are burned out, you can either replace them yourself or ask a mechanic to do that for you. If the lights are working but it looks a bit hazy, then your headlights do need a good cleaning.

Check your Brakes

Your brakes have to be in top tier shape. Braking easily and fast is crucial especially if the person ahead of you steps on the emergency brakes on the highway or an animal or pedestrian pops out of nowhere. Squeaking noises or any other odd noises coming from your brakes may mean that your brake pads are worn out and it’s important for them to be professionally inspected.

Replace old wiper blades and fill the washer fluid

It’s important for your wiper blades to be changed once they wear out. Wipers as we all know perform a very crucial role when driving around especially when it rains or if you just want to have clear visibility. You could easily replace the wiper blades on your own by simply following the instructions on the package. You could buy washer fluid from the store or you could alternatively fill it up with water.

Change your air filter

Your engine’s air filter is what regulates the air that flows into your engine. The air filter prevents dirt and other particles from getting into your engine where they can cause poor efficiency, decreased performance or even permanent damage. If you haven’t replaced your air filter in the past one year make it a point to do so. Restricted air filters also increase fuel consumption and it puts stress on other components of your car.

Don’t forget to check whether your air conditioning system works too. There’s nothing worse than travelling in the heat with a non functioning A/C.

Ensure you carry some essentials

There are a number of things you should carry with you in your car in case of an emergency. These include;

  • Spare oil for your engine. While travelling especially long distance, make sure to check your engine oil as often and top it off if need be.
  • Coolant. Just like the engine oil, top up the cooling system if needed. Remember to do it first thing in the morning before you start the car and when the engine is hot.
  • First Aid Kit. Accidents tend to happen, so a first aid kit will come in handy in case of any bruises or cuts.
  • Life saver. In the case where your car stalls or any other issue arises, a life saver will warn other oncoming drivers that there is a problem ahead and they should slow down and approach with caution.
  • Other additional items such as bottles of water, maps, torch, a cloth or paper towels are also important.

Clean your car both inside and out

No one wants to drive in a car that has a stench and litter all over. Take it to the car wash for a good and thorough cleaning both inside and out. Don’t also forget to organize the interior of your car as well in order to create enough space when packing for the road trip.

Read more: Car maintenance tips and checklists: Increase Your Car’s Longevity

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