Best Travel Tips For Your Car Before A Long Road Trip

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You’ve picked an exciting destination, set up your itinerary to ensure you maximize your trip and lined up your favorite crew to partake in the fun with you.

But, the reality is all of that careful planning will be for naught if your vehicle – the most important companion on your trip – isn’t up to the task of completing your road trip.

The good news is that there is plenty you can do as a proactive vehicle owner to guard against all but the most random malfunctions that can befall any car or truck, such as a flat tire. In the event of a breakdown, a roadside assistance provider or Towing Service such as AAA is your best bet.

Preparing To Ensure Your Vehicle’s Long-Distance Readiness

While you typically don’t think twice about whether your vehicle is ready for your regular morning commute to work or other local driving, it’s an entirely different matter when you’re considering utilizing it for a much longer trip.

If your vehicle still has a reasonable amount of miles on it and you’ve been conscientious about its maintenance over the course of your ownership, there isn’t any reason why it can’t safely and reliably get you to and from your destination.

However even if you’ve been consistently diligent about your vehicle’s care, it naturally can’t hurt to run through a checklist of important maintenance tasks before you ask your vehicle an appreciably heavier workload than it normally does.

Simply put, a “wellness check” on your vehicle’s major and critical components – much like you’d do when you take your annual physical – is recommended before you hit the road.

These include:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Cooling System
  • Electrical System
  • Brakes
  • Suspension and Tires
  • Power Steering

Making Your Vehicle a Road Warrior

Getting your vehicle that all-important final pre-road trip checkup is your next step. This is ideally completed at your local mechanic shop unless you happen to be proficient enough to perform an effective evaluation yourself.

Using the major systems we detailed above, the following is a breakdown of basic specifics pertaining to each that you should be mindful of before embarking on your trip.

The tasks outlined below are a basic guide meant to identify basic maintenance tasks. Needless to say, if there are any specific warning lights/codes appearing on your vehicle’s dashboard before your road trip, they will need to be properly diagnosed and addressed as well.

  • Engine – Ensure next scheduled oil change isn’t due within the expected range of miles the vehicle will travel; ensure oil levels are appropriate and there are no associated leaks.
  • Transmission– Ensure your transmission fluid is at an appropriate level.
  • Cooling System– Ensure you have sufficient coolant in your reservoir and that your vehicle is running at a normal temperature.
  • Electrical System- Ensure both your battery and alternator are diagnosed as charging sufficiently; have all cables examined to ensure there is no damage or loose connections; ensure battery terminals are clean/ free of any corrosion.
  • Brakes- Ensure your brake pad life is sufficient for the distance of your trip; have your rear brakes examined as well.
  • Suspension and Tires- As alluded to earlier, a flat tire can happen to the most meticulous of vehicle owners. However, one can take key preventative measures such as ensuring there is superior tread life on all four tires and that they have proper air pressure.
  • Power Steering- Ensure your power steering fluid is at an appropriate level.

Additionally, it is important you have some basic accessories that will come in handy in emergency situations that you may encounter during a long road trip. These include:

  • Additional quarts of oil tailored for your vehicle’s engine
  • At least one quart of transmission fluid
  • A gallon of coolant
  • Jumper cables
  • A reserve quart of brake fluid
  • A properly functioning jack and properly inflated spare tire. A tire pressure gauge and temporary flat tire fix product can also be extremely useful.
  • A reserve quart of power steering fluid.
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Hugh Grant

Hugh is a technology, business, finance and conservative news blogger with a deep concern for facts and realities.