It’s finally the season of vacations and time away from work, which means it’s also time for a good old-fashioned summer road trip! Before you head out on the open road, though, you should make sure you are prepared. Aside from packing lists and sightseeing itineraries and snack planning, the most important pre-trip step is often overlooked. You are about to trust your vehicle to carry you hundreds, if not thousands of miles. Safety should always come first, so be sure any road trip starts with these car preparations. After all, it’s better to get a friendly tow ahead of time than experience bigger problems away from home.
Get your Tires Checked Out
And we don’t just mean by you kicking them. A road trip is gonna be a ton of wear and tear on your tires. Along with ensuring that you have a working spare on hand, you should at the very least be checking the air pressure. This is something that needs to be done before embarking on your trip as it is an excellent indicator of tire health. Tires that are underinflated are ticking time bombs in terms of driving safety. The last thing you want to happen on your road trip is a tire giving out on an unfamiliar road.
You should also have the tread of the tires inspected for wear issues. Whether commuting or road trip driving, you want your tires to grip the road. And while your car is in the shop being inspected, you might as well have them take a look at everything that matters. This includes undercar services such as alignment, exhaust, shocks and more.
Step one, whether it is road trip time or not is always the same: stay current on your oil changes.Getting your oil changed is always important. And on a road trip it is especially important because you don’t want to go over the recommended mileage in the middle of nowhere. However, oil is just one of the critical fluids essential for your car to be performing up to par. Other fluids to have checked on and topped off include antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid and transmission fluid.
Get your Hose, Belt & Battery Checked Out
Like anything with age, older hoses are more susceptible to crack or to leak, so you should check to make sure you do not need a replacement prior to your road trip. It’s not a good idea, either, to head out on a driving vacation with a damaged or worn belt, so checking to make sure it is also up to snuff is equally important.
Another nightmare road trip scenario is a dead battery. Have it tested for ample power and make sure there’s no corrosion before you commit to hitting the road. Not having to call AAA for a jump in a strange state is more than worth it.
Get Your Brakes Checked Out
A car’s braking system is complex (brake pads, rotors, caliper pins, etc.) and all must be working properly as a system to run smoothly. Otherwise, you are at risk for an accident. Road trip preparations should start with checking that the brakes are in working condition and are not damaged or worn. This will give you total peace of mind when it comes to stopping.
Get Any Necessary Repairs Done
Don’t put it off. Having needed repairs done is crucial before going on a road trip. Even if it’s only one repair, you’re going to want your car is in prime shape before hitting the road. Large or small, that repair will matter.
If you are under a time crunch, check with us here at Orlando Auto Body. In certain cases, we can have you repairs fast-tracked. That way, your car is road-ready without you feeling the stress of a ticking clock.