We all have been stuck inside far too long due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With the ever increasing prices of air travel and the looming fear of catching the virus, road trips are gaining more and more momentum. What can beat the fun of being with your loved ones on the road in the comfort and safety of your own car?
Take as many roadside selfies or make as many snack breaks in drive-ins because you are the captain of your own car!
A good road trip takes good planning, fear no more, we have made a checklist for you on how to prepare car for road trip.
Regular car maintenance is necessary all year-round, but car maintenance before prepare car for road trip is definitely a top priority.
1. Should I get an oil change before the road trip?
A big yes !!
Oils are the unsung heroes of every car. Make sure to get your oil changed before you hit the road. The oil filter should also be changed if required. Oil not only lubricates the engine but it also absorbs excess heat, allowing the internal parts to work together without the risk of overheating. The standard interval for oil change is every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
Keep a check on the Radiator fluid. It is also known as Coolant. As the name suggests, coolant absorbs the heat and keeps the car radiator cool. It is generally changed every 40,000 to 50,000 miles.
Refill your brake fluid if you ever feel that the pedal feels spongy, it is a safety hazard. Put fresh brake fluid every 24,000 miles.
Power steering fluid-
All the latest technology cars have power steering. If power steering fluid is less or is contaminated, driving is not that smooth or pleasurable. One can change their car’s power steering fluid about every 50,000 miles.
2. Get those Tires checked before your road trip.
Tires should be in prime condition before you embark on your journey. They ensure safety, comfort and fuel efficiency too.
Check Air Pressure :
Check air pressure at start and then after every 1,000 miles.1,000 miles as you travel. If you are going to a place with a significantly different temperature, make sure to check air pressure again as temperature affects the pressure within the tires. Everyone should invest in good tires after completing 40,000-50,000 miles.
Check those Brake pads:
Brake pads essentially provide the friction needed to slow and stop the car. They need to be checked timely due to the loss of thickness with wear and tear. They might make a screeching noise on becoming too thin. Please replace brake pads every 25,000 to 70,000 miles to ensure a safe road trip.
Check the Light bulbs:
A burnt out headlight, tail light or blinker is not only extremely dangerous but can also get you a ticket.
Things to carry for long car drive–
- First Aid Kit
- Car essentials like a puncture repair kit, car jack and jumping cables.
- Food and water.
- Electronic gadgets and chargers.
- Emergency contact number of roadside assistance
Keep your car squeaky clean-
Traveling in a smelly, grimy car is a big no-no. Clean out the trunk so that your luggage remains safe. Keep the trunk clean so it won’t damage your luggage. Give your car a good wash and get rid of dirt, bird poop etc and be on your way. A clean windshield ensures good visuals while driving and makes it safer.
Last, but not the least, always keep the contact number of a reliable and professional towing company in your emergency contacts.