If you are thinking of taking a road trip, regardless of how short or long it is, you should give your car a good check-up before you head out on the road. Road trips can mean you will be spending lots of time in the car, so having it properly maintained and clean is essential for a good trip. A maintained vehicle will be much more comfortable, fuel-efficient and reliable to drive.
Checking Under the Hood Before a Road Trip
The first thing you should do is maintain things under the hood of your car. Get the oil changed before you take a road trip. The best way to keep the life of your car extended is by frequent oil and filter changes. Always follow your owner’s manual for maintaining your oil change schedule.
Have all the fluids checked in the car before you leave. Engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and transmission fluids should all be at a full level before heading out on a trip.
Check your car’s air filter. If it’s dirty you won’t get good gas mileage or performance. Change the air filter. It will also help keep the engines oil cleaner for a longer time. The air filter that goes to the passenger compartment often gets clogged up with pollen, leaves and dust. If you notice the car having a lot of pollen, it may be that your air filter is clogged.
Always check to see your tires are full of air and adjusted correctly. If your tires are inflated correctly, you will get much better gas mileage, and the tires will last a lot longer. Always check the spare tire in the trunk as well to ensure the air pressure is correct. You never know when you may have to use that tire on a road trip.
Road Trip Preparation for the Inside of Your Car
Make sure the inside of your vehicle is prepared for a road trip as well. Clean out all the trash from under the seats and in the trunk of the car. Cars left outside in the sun can reach a 55 degree temperature inside. If food or trash is left in the car, it can cause unpleasant smells.
Make sure the front and rear dashboards are cleaned off. If you have to make a fast stop, objects on the dash can be very dangerous projectiles. Make sure your GPS system is attached securely to the dash or window. Clean and vacuum the interior of your car before you go as well as the floors.
Keep the outside of your car clean as well. Spending a couple of dollars at a drive through car wash will keep the corrosive road salts off your car.
Using a few simple maintenance tips will make a big difference in the performance of your car, especially on a long road trip.