The good old cross country road trip is a classic American vacation, and it is one of my favorite ways to spend the holidays. Driving on the long road with some of your favorite people can be a lot of fun, but if your car isn’t ready for the trip, you can run into a lot of problems, and all of your plans can be ruined. I have been on many amazing road trips, and I feel that a smoothly running car is the most important thing for a road trip. So, today I am going to tell you some of the best tips that have helped me have some amazing trips and vacations. If you follow these tips, you can also make some amazing memories on the road, without running into any car problems.
Catch up on regular maintenance
For the smooth operation of any automobile, it is important that you maintain it regularly. There are certain maintenance tasks that I’m sure you do every day if you like to take care of your car, but if you are leaving on a long trip, then you need to do some extra maintenance. So take the car to the mechanic for fine-tuning, have the alignment and the suspension of your car checked. If you want your car to stay running smoothly without putting any load on the engine, you should change the engine oil before you leave. Even if an oil change isn’t due, you should get one, because your car will be going into overdrive for the next couple of days or so and it is essential that the engine isn’t damaged due to dirty engine oil.
Check up on the electronics of the car
A common mistake that many people make when they are preparing their car for a road trip is that they focus too much on maintaining the mechanics of the car, and they end up neglecting the electronics. The electronics are an essential part of the car’s operation, and it is important that they are also checked before you embark on a long and exciting road trip. You should check the car battery and see if any battery water has to be replaced, takes some time to clean any rust or corrosion off the terminals of the battery. Checkup on the condition of the wiring, and make sure that all fuses are working properly. Maintain the AC as well and replace any AC filters if required.
Also check up on the headlights, tail lights and indicators, replace the bulbs if needed and also keep a couple in the car with you. You should know the difference between 6000k led vs 8000k headlights. The lower the kelvin rating of a bulb is the brighter and lesser color it has. For the indicators, 8000k bulbs are better for the indicators, while 6000k bulbs are better for your headlights.
Make sure that your tires and brakes are in prime condition
One of the most important things that you need to check in your car before you leave for a long road trip is the condition of the tires and the brakes. These parts are very important because the majority of road accidents happen either because of failed brakes or tire blowouts. You should start by replacing the brake fluid in your car, and you should check the condition of the brake pads as well. If you haven’t changed your tires for a while, then you should consider getting them changed before a long trip. Make sure that your tires have enough traction to ensure a safe trip. Also, make sure that your tires are properly inflated. Especially in the summer, the sunbaked roads, and the added weight on the car, can cause problems.
Wash and clean the interior and exterior of your car
When you are on the road, you will hardly get any time for maintenance, let alone cleaning your car. It is understandable that your car will get dirty on the road, but you should at least start the trip with a clean car. The exterior of your car should also be maintained to ensure the longevity of the car. And if dirt and dust stay on the exterior of your car for a long time, its paint can also be damaged. So, before you start the trip, wash the exterior of your car thoroughly and wax your car to protect the exterior of your car from dust as long as possible.
The interior of your car will also have to be cleaned if you want to have a comfortable trip. Clean up the seats and put a new air freshener in the car to make it feel and smell amazing. A clean and neat car is essential for an amazing road trip.
Join a roadside assistance program
You should be prepared for every situation, and if you ever run into some car trouble on the road, it is always good to know that you have some backup. You should consider joining a roadside assistance program before you leave on a long trip, especially if you are like me and you like to go on road trips a lot. These roadside assistance programs will send you help, wherever on the road you are and they can get you out of a difficult situation as soon as possible. AAA, AARP and AllState are some of the most prominent roadside assistance programs in the US.
Plan some maintenance and refueling stops
If you care for your car, then you will know that all the gas stations aren’t the same, and you would prefer to get gas from a reputable station that provides clean fuel that has a high octane level. It is not easy to find your preferable gas station when you are on the road. So, you should check the map of the route you are traveling and plan your refueling stops before you leave.
You should also find some good mechanics on your route, just in case you need to get something fixed . In case the car breaks down, you should also know where the nearest mechanic is.
This post is written by Mark Hilton. He is a digital nomad who is obsessed with automobiles and loves road traveling. He has worked in several automobile companies and has been covering technology online for over five years. In order to know more about his site, you can visit https://carifex.com/.