Road trips are often exciting and something to look forward to. After spending a long time in one location, doing and seeing the same things; it’s easy for boredom to begin to set in. At this point, you can easily start considering a road trip. A sweetly planned road trip and vacation can turn sour if you fail to get your car ready for it. It’s highly unpalatable to have your car stuck or realize you didn’t even take the needed car papers before you left home. Carmart.ng does not want you to get stuck on your next road trip. Here are 30 tips to get your car ready for a road trip;
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Check Or Change The Engine Oil
You don’t want to have your car run out of oil in the middle of nowhere. Before you leave your home, check the engine oil. Add more if you need to and take extra along.
Check Or Replace The Engine Air Filter
The air filter might be clogged with dirt and debris. Endeavour to check it and clean it out if necessary. If it’s faulty, replace it before hitting the road.
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Inspect Your Tires
It’s possible your tires are slowly running out of air pressure without you noticing. It’s even possible you need wheeling balancing or alignment on your tires. It can be devastating to realize your tires are not in good condition when you are on the highway, so inspect it and get it in perfect condition.
Check The Spark Plugs
If you notice you have issues starting your car or your car idles roughly, then you might have issues with your spark plugs. Clean it or replace it, if need be, before embarking on your road trip.
Check Or Change The Windshield Wipers
You never can tell, there might be intense dirt, dust and rain on the way that can affect your visibility. A windshield wiper is needed to keep your windshield clear. This is why you need to check your windshield if they are working well before leaving. You might need to replace them if necessary.
Inspect The Lights
Lights like headlights, taillights, brake lights etc have to be effectively functional before embarking on a road trip.
Check The Jack And Spare Tire
Your car is not ready for a road trip if your spare tire is damaged. Check the jack to see if it’s in the right position. Even if you haven’t used your spare tires before, still check it to ascertain it hasn’t deflated.
Flush The Radiator
Cars begin to overheat at hot temperatures. Before hitting the road, endeavour to have your radiator flushed and filled, especially if it’s been a while you did it.
Fill All Fluids
The last thing you want on a road trip is to have your car running low on necessary fluids. Power steering, transmission and antifreeze fluids etc must be checked to see if they are at their required level. If not, add more before leaving
Inspect The Shocks
Perhaps you have experienced your car bouncing more than usual. Or, the front ends dive when you brake and accelerate. If this happens, then you may need new shocks before embarking on that road trip.
Check The Brakes
It can be fatal to have brake failure or any issue with your brakes on the road. This is why you don’t want to leave it unattended. In preparing you, ensure you check the brake pads and fluids to know if it needs replacing.
Check The Belts And Hoses
Replace and repair any holes, cracks or frayed edges in your belts or hoses when preparing your car for a road trip.
Inspect The Battery
Your car preparation is incomplete without inspecting the battery. The battery powers all the electrical components of the car; hence it has to be working well. Check the terminals if they are well tightened, clean off any corrosion on the terminals. If the battery is damaged, replace it.
Check Your Key Fobs
Modern cars use key fobs rather than a key-ignition system. Endeavour to check the key fobs and replace the battery so that you don’t get stuck on the road.
Check The Horn
You don’t want to find out your horn is faulty in the middle of the road. Even if it’s just once, use it before you leave home.
Read The Car’s Manual Again
Reading your car manual can give you more knowledge about your car which can help you know what to do when hassles arise. It wouldn’t hurt to take a quick glance through the manual before hitting the road.
Don’t Forget An Emergency Toolkit
Especially on lengthy road trips, an emergency toolkit is needed to help you if anything happens to your car in the middle of nowhere. Some of the things you can include in your emergency toolkit include Tire gauge, Foam tire sealant, Jumper cables, Flashlight and extra batteries, Duct tape, Tow strap or tow rope, Utility knife, Rain poncho, Funnel, Drinking water, Snacks, A blanket etc.
Take A Window Shade Along
Extreme sunrays can make driving become difficult. A window shade can help protect your eyes, reduce heat and reduce glare.
Keep A First Aid Kit In Your Car
You are not ready for a road trip without first aid kits. Your first aid kit should include bandages, scissors and alcohol swabs, insect repellent, sunscreen, anti-inflammatories and if you have a doctor’s prescription, some drugs for emergencies.
Include Entertainment In Your Car
A lengthy trip can be boring without some games, books or music. Don’t forget to take these along.
Take The Necessary Papers
You would be causing unnecessary delay or even seizing of your car if you don’t take the necessary papers or documents. Warranty, car insurance, emergency car service contact information must be in your car during any road trip.
Inspect The AC
Without AC, your road trip can be stuffy and uncomfortable. Inspect the AC, and fill in refrigerant if necessary prior to leaving the house.
Avoid Putting Load On The Car Roof
Putting load on the roof increases your chances of a car rollover. Instead, ensure all luggage is tied down in the cargo space and evenly distributed.
Check The Alternator
The alternator must be in good working condition before your road trip.
Inspect The Fuel Tank
The last thing you want is to run out of fuel on the highway where no filling station is nearby. Inspect your fuel tank, and buy enough for the journey.
Charge The Battery
If you are using an electric vehicle, then you want to ensure your batteries are fully charged. Unless you are familiar with the route, there’s no guarantee that you would find a charging station nearby.
Inspect The Fuel Filter
In the pathway of delivering fuel to the engine, the fuel filter is a vital component in the entire pathway. The fuel filter performs a protective function. It traps contaminants including dirt and other fine particles from entering and possibly damaging the engine. A clogged fuel filter spells trouble on a road trip. To avoid this, endeavour to inspect it and clean it.
Check The Starter Motor
If you have been experiencing click sound when you try starting your car, it’s likely the starter motor is getting weak. Inspect the starter motor when preparing your car for a road trip.
Check The Timing Belt
A faulty timing belt could cause serious engine damage that would stop your car from starting in the middle of a road trip. The timing belt ensures the engine’s valves open and closes at the proper interval so that the valves and the pistons never touch. To avoid problems on your trip, check and replace the timing belt before travelling.
Take The Car For General Service And Maintenance
It’s okay to take your car for general maintenance before taking a road trip. This will ensure every part of the car, including those you might have overlooked, get serviced or replaced.
The 30 tips listed above will ensure you have a hitch-free journey with your car. Do have a pleasant road trip!
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