Authored by Alice Brown
Road trips can make for an amazing adventure, even if it’s only for a short amount of time. But have you ever wondered if your car is ok for a road trip? Or what you should check before driving off? Préparer road trip.
As easy as it is to just jump in the car and drive, road trips do require a little bit of prior planning, and there are some important checks you should run to ensure your safety. Is my car ok for a roadtrip?
The following are 5 tips on making sure your car is road trip ready; 5 most important vehicle checks before driving off. Can my car make a road trip?
Road Trip Ready: 5 Most Important Vehicle Checks Before Driving Off
Make Sure the Oil Has Been Changed
Your oil usually needs to be changed twice a year, so you should make sure that you’re not overdue for an oil change when preparing your car for a long road trip. This can be a good time to check your oil level.
If you’re driving between climates, it used to be said that you should use heavier-weight oil in cars during the summer and lighter-weight oil during the winter. But this is no longer necessary, and modern oils are very effective across all temperature ranges. What to check before road trip.
Carry a Jump Starter
It’s happened to the best of us – forgetting to turn off our lights overnight, and waking up the next morning to a dead battery. Get oil change before road trip.
So one of the things to do before a long road trip is to throw a jump starter in the back of the car. Usually there’ll be someone you can approach for help, from a near friend or a stranger who’s willing to park their car near yours and give your vehicle a jump.
Most of us are afraid of using cables, because we think we’ll hook them wrong and make our problem worse than it is. So you can of course call for a roadside assistance. But that takes time out of your itinerary, and you probably only need a quick jump with a portable jump starter.
Be Aware of Your Tyres
Tyres wear down over time and there is no getting away from the fact. You should check your tyres are road worthy before heading out on a road trip by looking at both your tread and pressure.
The best way to check your tyre wear is by using a coin to check if your tread depth is below 1.6mm. Place a coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is fine. What to check car before road trip.
In checking your pressure, you should use a pressure gauge as tyres can lose pressure without it being easy to detect. Not only do under pressure tyres wear quickly, but they also make it harder to steer and brake. They’re also less economical to run and you end up using more petrol per mile travelled if you don’t pump them up. Should I get an oil change fore a road trip?
Don’t Neglect the Other Car Fluids
Many people don’t think to check more than just the oil and the wiper fluid. But many other car fluids require regular checks. These include the brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid and coolant.
You should make sure that these are topped up so your car runs at its best. If you’re not sure how and where to check these fluids, take your car into a workshop and the mechanics can check these for you, and top them up where needed. Can my car handle a road trip?
Also, it takes running out of gas in the middle of the road and being stranded to appreciate the role of a gas can. This will come in handy in case you run out of gas with no gas station around. You can check out the best gas can reviews on CarCareNinja.
Check the Air-Conditioning
If you’re driving through a region with high temperatures, you might find that out of nowhere, your air-conditioning shuts down!
This is a common problem, but one which can be avoided by checking the system before you leave. Common reasons an air conditioner will break include insufficient refrigerant in system due to leak, compressor not working efficiently, or the radiator fans not spinning when the air conditioner compressor is working.
On the flip side, if you’re driving through a cold area, check to make sure your heater is working. Ensure the coolant, condenser and belt are checked by your mechanic or dealer.
Other Quick Tips
Before heading on a road trip, we also recommend washing your car, and making sure the tank is full before you leave. If you’re heading through remote areas where petrol is not accessible, plan out your gas stops, and don’t leave them to chance.
Don’t forget to take a road map, even if you have a smartphone with thousands of apps. If your phone or GPS goes dead, that map can save you. And make sure you don’t drive off without having organized travel insurance.
If you are going to buy a used car for the trip, make sure you run a free vin check before you buy it. You will get a full history report with all the details about the car, and this is a good way to confirm if the car is suitable for long drives.
Now that you’ve checked the above 5 things, you can relax knowing that you’re prepared and have prevented the most common issues which arise on a road trip.
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