So you have decided to plan a road trip for this summer vacation. Where to do you plan to go? Florida. California. Virginia. New York. Arizona. It doesn’t matter if you are planning a road trip across the state or across country. The first thing you need to take care of is preparing your car for the long distant drive. Just because you car has been running for you while out and about in your home town, does not mean it is prepared for traveling long distances.
So, how can you prepare your car for an upcoming road trip? Simple. I have compiled a list of things you should have checked and pack before hitting the road.
You need to check everything in your car to make sure it is in top condition. Check to make sure all fluids are full, including transmission fluid, oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid and power steering fluid. Check all hoses and belts to ensure they are secure. Check all tires for accurate pressure, wear and damage and replace if necessary. Check your lights to ensure all are working. Replace your windshield wipers to ensure they work when needed on the road.
Keep Checking (you are not done yet)
Have your brakes checked to make sure they are working and you do not need anything fixed or replaced. When you get an oil change have the mechanic change the air filter too. And while he is at it have him check the battery.
In the Trunk
In addition to making sure you car is in working order, you will want to make sure you have everything in the car you need while on the road. I suggest packing a small box in the trunk to hold these items or place them in the glove box. Do not forget to pack maps and guidebooks for your destination and all of the towns you will be passing through. Pack an emergency kit with flashlight, first aid kit, blanket and other emergency necessities. Pick up some extra fuses and oil to have on hand while traveling…you never know what could happen.
Though you may be able to check all of these items on your own, I suggest finding a reputable mechanic to conduct an overall inspection of your car. He will have all the tools to check everything and be able to fix items right there on the spot. Just a small price to pay for peace of mind while traveling.