Taking a long road trip is a great way to connect with your loved ones, see the sights of your country, and truly get to know your car. However, if you weren’t adequately prepared for your road trip, you may find out more about your car than you wanted to—as you spend hours upon hours and hundreds of dollars at a mechanic’s or repair shop. So to ensure this doesn’t happen to you, here are three tips to help you prep your car for a long road trip so you can spend your time on the road as opposed to in an auto parts store.
Check Your Battery
There’s not a lot worse than driving along the road and having your lights, radio, and all other electrical parts start to give out due to a bad battery. Even if your battery hasn’t given you problems in the last few weeks, it’s always a good idea to check your battery to make sure it’s ready for all you’re going to be demanding of it on your trip. Consumer Reports recommends cleaning the terminals and checking to see how much of a charge it can hold. If it’s looking like it’s getting old or weak, you may want to replace it before you leave, just to be on the safe side.
Take Care of Your Tires
Your tires are the four things that get your car where you need it to be. While your car can function with a headlight burnt out or no windshield wiper fluid, all four of your tires have to be in good shape in order for your car to even be operational. AutoCarePlus.com suggests checking the overall condition of your tires, the tread, and the tire pressure each time you stop on a long road trip. The last thing you want to experience on your travels is a tire blowout, so always be on the lookout for bulges or signs of damage that could make your tires vulnerable.
Secure Your Spare
Even with all your planning and preparing, something can still go wrong with your car that may require you to use one of your backup plans. One backup plan every driver should have readily available is their spare tire. Keep in mind, though, it’s not just the spare tire you need to have ready to go. Samarins.com advises having your spare tire, jack, and wheel wrench in prime working condition before heading out on your journey. Your spare won’t do you any good if you can’t get it on or if it’s flat when you try to use it, so make sure you double check your backup just as often as you check on your current set of tires and other mechanical parts.
If you’re planning to take a long road trip soon, consider using the tips mentioned above to get your car in the best condition before taking off.