Car Maintenance: 8 Things You Need To Check Before A Road Trip

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Are you planning on taking a road trip soon? If so, it is important to make sure your car is in good shape before you hit the open road. There are a few things you should check before you go. In this blog post, we will discuss eight of the most important things you need to look at. By taking care of these things ahead of time, you can help ensure that your road trip goes smoothly!

1. Check your tire pressure and tread depth

To ensure a smooth ride and avoid any unwanted surprises, it’s important to check your tire pressure and tread depth before hitting the road. You can do this easily with a tire pressure gauge and a penny.

If your tires are looking worn down, it might be time for new ones. Worn tires can cause decreased fuel efficiency and increased braking distances, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.

It’s also important to check your spare tire and make sure it is properly inflated. You don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire and no way to fix it!

2. Inspect your brakes for wear and tear

When was the last time you had your brakes checked? If it’s been a while, or if you’ve never had them checked, now’s the time. 

Worn-out brakes can cause longer stopping distances and decreased braking power, which can be dangerous – especially on long road trips. Therefore, a brake repair or replacement may be necessary before you hit the road. That way, you can rest assured that your brakes are in good condition and will work properly when you need them.

If you’re not sure how to check your brakes, many auto shops offer free brake inspections. You can also check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to check your brakes at home.

Additionally, check your brake fluid level and make sure there are no leaks in the system. If your brake fluid is low or there is a leak, have it fixed before driving anywhere.

3. Change your oil and filter

As cars get older, they require more maintenance. One of the most important things you can do for your car is to change the oil and filter regularly. Depending on your car’s make and model, you may need to do this every few thousand miles. Check your owner’s manual to be sure.

Doing this yourself is relatively simple and can save you a lot of money. You’ll need to purchase the right oil and filter for your car, as well as some basic tools. Once you have everything, just follow the instructions in your owner’s manual.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, most auto shops will be happy to do it for you. Just be sure to call ahead and make an appointment.

4. Top up all fluid levels, including brake fluid, coolant, and windshield washer fluid

Since you’ll be doing a lot of driving, you’ll want to make sure all your fluid levels are topped up before you hit the road. This includes your brake fluid, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. By topping off these fluids, you can help ensure that your car is running smoothly and safely.

In addition, checking your fluid levels before a road trip can help you avoid any potential issues while on the road. If your car runs out of coolant, for example, it could overheat and cause serious damage. By topping off all your fluids, you can help prevent any issues before they start.

5. Make sure your spare tire is in good condition

Once you’re on the road, there’s not much you can do if one of your tires pops. That’s why it’s important to make sure your spare tire is in good condition before you leave. Check the air pressure and tread to ensure that it’s ready to go in case of an emergency.

While you’re at it, take a look at your other tires and make sure they’re in good condition as well. It’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re on the open road.

6. Test your car’s charging system

In order to test your car’s charging system, you’ll need a voltmeter. You can purchase one at any auto parts store. Attach the voltmeter to the battery and start the engine. The reading should be between 13.0 and 14.0 volts. If it’s lower than that, there may be an issue with your alternator or battery.

If you’re not comfortable using a voltmeter, you can always take your car to a mechanic and have them test the charging system for you.

7. Check your car’s lights

It’s important to make sure your car’s headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals are all working properly before you hit the road. Not only is it the law in most states, but it’s also a safety issue. You don’t want to get pulled over, or worse, into an accident because your lights aren’t working.

Also, your lights can give you an indication of other problems with your car. If one of your headlights is out, it could be a sign that your battery is dying. If your brake lights are out, it could be a sign that your brakes need to be checked.

8. Check your emergency kit

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit in your car. This should include things like a first-aid kit, flares, and jumper cables. That way, if you run into any trouble on your road trip, you’ll be prepared for it.

To sum it up, there are several things you should check before going on a road trip. By ensuring that your car is in good condition, you can avoid breakdowns and other problems on the road. With a little bit of preparation, you can have a safe and enjoyable journey. And, of course, don’t forget to have fun! Thanks for reading and good luck!

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