Every now and then you get that itch to travel, but you are done buying those expensive tickets. You decide to hit the road with your car and a lot of people are doing that. You get to experience more of the country and take in the sights, but there are a few things to consider. The following are five things you need to check before you take that long trip across the country.
1. Check Your Maintenance Schedule
The first thing you want to do is check your maintenance schedule. This is especially important if you cannot remember the last time you took your car in for regular maintenance. Just check your owner’s manual to see how often you are supposed to do this. You can also do a quick search online for your car if you cannot find your owner’s manual.
Another thing you can do is talk to your regular mechanic. This person will likely have some records to see if any maintenance is needed. It is best to get this done before you hit the road to prevent any problems along the way. The last thing you want is car trouble when you are in the middle of no where.
2. No More Delays
Those who know of a particular problem and have simply been putting it off cannot do that any longer. It is easy to put something off when you know you are near a trusted mechanic because you know you can get to your mechanic with little effort. This is no longer the case when you are on the road, so just deal with these issues now.
Keep in mind that the issues you ignore can get worse and may cost you. Try your best to start taking these steps as early as you can. Some repairs can be costly, so it is better to spread them out so that you do not feel the hit to your bank account.
3. Fluid Attention
The oil and coolant are very important, especially when you are going on a major trip like this. Long drives can be quite taxing on your engine and can definitely heat it up given enough time. This is why every moving part needs to be properly lubricated, and your coolant must be working to keep your engine from overheating.
Replace the oil if it has been some time since you emptied out the oil tray. You should also make sure that there are no oil or coolant leaks because this definitely spells trouble for you later. Have your mechanic pay close attention to the radiator, which is a vital part of your car and helps ensure that your coolant does its job.
4. Inspect the Tires
The tires are important for the overall safety and performance of your car. This is especially needed when you are going on such a long trip. It might not be something you want to hear, but several car accidents have been linked to under-inflated, over-inflated, or just subpar tires.
What you want to do is have your mechanic check your tires before you take off. Tires that do not have enough thread will need to be replaced to help improve your vehicle’s traction. Be sure to see if your vehicle needs to be realigned while you are checking the condition of your tires.
5. Brake Check
Okay, this one is pretty obvious but it is something that some people tend to overlook. Sure, your brakes may not be making a squeaking sound just yet, but that does not mean they are ready for a long-distance trip. You want to make sure they are professionally inspected to make sure you are good to go.
Talk to your mechanic about this long distance trip you are taking so that he or she can recommend good brakes if needed. Make sure that you start practicing good brake usage techniques to help extend the life of your brakes. For example, you want to avoid pressing on your brakes harshly or riding on them constantly.
These suggestions should get your car ready to take on the road. You should make sure your insurance company covers you no matter where you are. It may be a good idea to take your mechanic’s number just in case you need help as he or she may be able to recommend other trusted mechanics should you be in need.