A summer road trip is a classic and extremely fun and exciting vacation, but it can be completely ruined and turn into a complete nightmare if your car breaks down, and you’re not prepared for it. A car break-down can ruin your whole trip as it disturbs your plans and schedules. So to avoid being stuck on the side of the highway instead of cruising on it smoothly, you should get your car ready for a road trip before you leave.
Here are some tips that will help you prepare yourselves and your car for an amazing and problem free road trip.
Catch Up On the Maintenance of the Car
Before you leave for a long cross country road trip, it is essential to prepare your car for it. So, before you leave, you should take your car to a mechanic for a detailed and thorough checkup. Taking your car in for a checkup before you leave will help you discover any small problems that could affect your road trip later on.
You should get the engine and transmission tuned up, and you need to change the oil and other fluids of your car as well. Doing so will significantly reduce your chance of running into car problems, and it will increase your chances of having lots of fun.
Check Up the Brakes and Tires
Tire blowouts and brake failures are among the most prominent causes of accidents. Both of these components should be checked up before you leave on a long trip. It is important that your tires are properly inflated all the time, but in the summer it is even more important. During the summer, the combination of the sunbaked roads and underinflated tires coupled with all the weight in the car can lead to a blowout.
So before you leave, check that your tires are properly inflated and check if your tires have the proper traction. If your tires are really old, consider replacing them before you leave on a long trip. It is also very important that you always keep a spare tire and a tire replacing kit in your car. You should also check your brakes before you leave and replace the brake fluid if required.
Keep a Check on the Electronics of the Car
Sometimes when a car is mechanically maintained and perfected, it still breaks down this is usually because of electrical failure of the car. To avoid this sort of issues, you should check up on the electronics of the car as well before you leave for a long trip. Keep in mind to check the battery and all the wiring of the car and also check other electrical components like the cooling fan, headlights, meters, the air conditioning and heating unit, and fuses of the car before you start your trip.
In the summer, it is very important that the air conditioning of the car is working perfectly so have it checked out by a mechanic and also clean up your cabin filters which are designed to keep dust and pollens out. Tuned up electronics and a perfectly working AC will improve your trip significantly.
Pack an Emergency Safety Kit
Hopefully, you never have to use an emergency kit but you never know when you can run into trouble and being prepared for such a situation beforehand will be very helpful. So before you leave for your road trip, you should put together a small safety kit in case you have any problems. An emergency kit should have stuff like some food, water, batteries, flashlights, extra headlight bulbs, electrical fuses, a tire replacement kit, a tire pump, and a basic car repairing kit. You can buy all of this stuff and many other car accessories at Carifax so start driving smarter today and get an emergency kit for your car.
An emergency kit will ensure that you don’t have to wait for help on the side of the road, instead you can help yourself and fix any minor problems in the car and if you can’t fix it yourself, you’ll have the means to stay safe until a mechanic or roadside assistance can arrive to help you.
Join a Roadside Assistance Program
No matter how prepared you are, you can run into problems that are very hard to fix yourself, so for situations like these, you should be a part of a roadside assistance program. If you are in any trouble, the people from these programs are just a phone call away, and they will help you if your car breaks down or you run into any other car problems along the road.
There are many reliable roadside assistance programs that are operating in the United States such as AAA, AARP and Allstate. Make sure to get in touch with the best one!
Check the Fluids of the Car
It is very important that you check the fluids of the car before you leave and along the way on your trip. You should change the engine oil before you leave and keep checking it every day while you are on the trip.
In the summer, cars use more water than they do otherwise to cool down. So keep checking the water levels and fill the water reservoirs up if needed. Keeping the car cool is very important, if the water runs out the car heats up very quickly and it can lead to burning the car’s wiring and even cause a fire, which is very dangerous. So keep an eye on the temperature gauge of the car and make sure to refill the water for a smooth and safe ride.
Preplan Your Refueling and Maintenance Stops
Before you start a long trip, it is a great idea to study the map of the route you will be traveling. You should find gas stations that provide good-quality clean gas on your route and plan refueling stops accordingly. You should also plan maintenance and service stops along the way so that even if you end up having car problems, you know where the nearby mechanics are.
I hope the article helps you out. Have a great trip!