If you’re planning a long road trip, make sure your car is prepared for the journey. You don’t want to make it halfway to your destination and start having car trouble. Even if you have a relatively new car, it’s important to do a few routine checks before you head out. Nothing dampens a fun trip like a car repair pit-stop. Below, you’ll find a few tips to help you ensure your car will ride smooth the entire way.
Check the Engine Oil
The first thing you want to do is check to make sure your car has enough oil and isn’t due for an oil change. If you’re close to the manufacturer-recommended limit, you’ll need to get an oil change before you leave. This isn’t something you want to neglect. Running a car without proper oil content is a good way to ruin more than just your trip.
Check Your Tire Pressure and Tread
Your tires do a lot of heavy lifting on road trips, so it’s important to ensure they’re in good shape. When you check to see how much pressure your tire should have, don’t look on the tire. The number there is the maximum amount of pressure the tire can hold. But, if filled to capacity and then mixed with high temperatures and highway speeds, it could lead to a blowout. And we don’t need to tell you how dangerous that can be. Instead, check the inside of the driver door, in the glove compartment, or on the fuel filler door to find the recommended tire pressure.
On the flip side, you don’t want your tire’s pressure to be too low. It can waste fuel and cause the tire to run hotter due to extra friction. Next, look at the condition of your tires. If they’ve seen better days and look worse for wear, it’s always a good idea to get new ones before a trip, as they’re only going to get worse with travel.
Check the Brakes
As it ages, brake fluid turns the color of maple syrup and begins rusting your brake components. When you check the brake fluid in your car, make sure it’s topped to the full mark, and check the color. If your brake fluid hasn’t been flushed in two or three years, you should get one before you leave. Without proper care, brake fluid can cost you a lot of money in repairs and give you a squishy brake pedal. That’s the last thing you want when you’re going 70 mph, get cut off, and need to brake quickly.
Check Your Car’s Lights
Chances are, if you’re traveling over long distances, you’ll be doing some driving at night. If that’s the case, you’ll want to check your car lights to make sure they are functioning correctly. You also want to make sure your blinkers and brake lights are operational as well. This is not only good for safety purposes, but it’ll help you avoid a ticket.
If you find you need auto glass repair during your vehicle check, don’t hesitate to contact us before your trip to get your car road ready.