If you’re planning a long road trip, you probably know that there are many things that you need to take care of if you want it to be successful. There is accommodation to be sorted out, itinerary to be created and all the arrangement for your stay at the destination should be finalised before you set off. However, there is one thing that can really ruin your trip and that is car trouble.
Just like you need to get ready for the trip, your car requires and deserves similar attention. It is supposed to take you far away from home and back safely and as quickly as possible. This is particularly true when it comes to family holidays, where the only time when the whole family can get together for a few days or weeks can easily be turned into a nightmare if the car is not reliable. So, what is it that you need to do to prepare your car for such a trip?
Check your lights and electrical equipment
Make sure all your lights are working properly and have a spare headlight bulb, just in case. Also, check the owner’s manual before the trip to find out how to replace the bulb quickly. Your horn should also be working well. If the dashboard is reporting a problem, sort it out before the trip.
Inspect windshield wipers
Those going on a longer trip have to be certain that they will have the best possible visibility and that can only be achieved if the windshield wipers are fully functional. Replacing themin case they are not is easy and if you still have the original wipers, you may only need to buy the rubber refills and save some money. Needless to say, make sure your front and rear windshield washers are operational and that you have enough washer fluid.
Take your car to the mechanic
If you haven’t had your car inspected lately by a professional, now is the time. You may find out that some parts are likely to break or wear off soon and you don’t want to deal with that kind of thing on the road, away from home. This is of the utmost importance not only because you might be delayed, but because of safety reasons. Ask for a thorough inspection and make sure your camshaft is in good shape. If it’s not, replace it with a top-quality one, such as one of those produced by crow cams and offered by T.I. Performance.
Check the filters
Your oil and air filters need to be clean enough to help your engine provide the best possible performance. Again, stay away from cheaper, unreliable ones and opt only for those recommended by the car manufacturer. If you’re not skilful enough to replace them yourself, visit your mechanic, but make sure you check the filters before you leave.
Another critical part of your car are the tyres. They should be appropriate for the season and weather conditions that you expect on the road, but another crucial part that people often forget about is to keep them properly inflated at all times. This will help you not only with being more economical with fuel consumption, but correctly inflated tyres are vital for the safety of all passengers, as well.
Check engine oil
One more thing you can inspect on your own is the level of engine oil. Use the dipstick to measure the level, but make sure that your engine is not very hot when you do that and that your car is parked on a flat spot. Wait a minute or two before checking the dipstick, since you want the oil to drain into the oil pan. If the level is not correct, top up the engine oil.
There are other things you might want to check, but these are the most critical ones, which you have to either attend to yourself or ask for professional help with. Remember that safety and reliability of your car are most important, not only for you, but for everyone else travelling with you.
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