Most of us love to travel and enjoy going on road trips. However, you must prepare your car before leaving to prevent any kind of disaster. Even if you have a brand new vehicle, going through a quick road trip maintenance checklist can make a difference between a carefree drive and a roadside breakdown.
Prepare by checking if your automobile is past due for an oil change, has a tire with an air leak, or has a burnt tail light. If so, having it repaired prior to the trip will be absolutely needed. Moreover, you must have an emergency kit in your vehicle because it can help greatly with unforeseen situations that might need repairs.
Road Trip Maintenance Checklist
Road trip maintenance checklists should focus on three major areas such as the fluids, wheels and tires, and maintenance. Completely inspect these areas so that you will have an interrupted trip.
Get Your Fluids Checked
- Engine Oil – You will need to see to it that the engine oil has been changed recently.
- Transmission Fluid – Make sure to check the owner’s manual to know if it is overdue and what the interval is to change it.
- Radiator fluid – Make sure that your antifreeze is full for optimal efficiency and review your owner’s manual to see if it needs to be changed.
- Brake Fluid – If you are unclear about your brake fluid, have it checked.
- Wiper Fluid – In driving long distances, you might hit insects or other roadway debris so you must see to it that your wiper fluid container is completely full to get the gunk off. Replace wipers if needed otherwise, they would be useless.
- Tread – Make sure that there are no bald spots and that you have a lot of tire tread left. Double-check if there are any leaks that require attention.
- Tire Pressure – Tire air pressure should be appropriate and equal to each tire.
- Rotation – Ensure that your tires are balanced properly as they can wear unevenly and have a bothersome or even dangerous vibration.
- Spare Tire – Have a spare tire in case of an emergency when a mechanic is out of reach.
General Maintenance Items
- Light Bulbs – Examine your turn signal lights and parking lights because burned-out headlamps and taillights can lead to accidents. Make sure that they work correctly. You may also opt to upgrade to LED bulbs for brighter light and reliability, as well as lower power consumption.
- Air Filter – Air filters need to be regularly replaced as they can help with better gas mileage. Moreover, it is simple to do and isn’t very costly.
- Belts and Hoses – Replace hoses that are weak and brittle and try to find if there are leaks. Check the belts to make sure they are not loose or have missing notches so they won’t ruin your trip and your engine.
- Battery – Make sure that the battery terminals are not rusted and that the terminals are tightened. When your vehicle starts slowly you might need a new battery.
- Brakes – Flushing your brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, and obtaining brand-new rotors could be essential to have a secure vehicle for your trip. Have your brakes checked, especially if you will be on a long trip. Sudden brake failure can be a major risk.
Before the Road Trip, Test Drive Your Car
You as an owner should understand your automobile more than any other person. Before a road trip, try to take it out for a quick drive to see if something feels off. You must concentrate if the brakes and other vital parts are ok. If something feels off when going through the road trip maintenance checklist, schedule for a certified technician to take a look at your car.
Additional Reading: Road Trip Maintenance: Pre and Post-Travel Car Care
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