How to Prepare Your Car for the Long Trip Ahead

Most trips you take in your car are back and forth to work, or are for handling chores around town. When you’re planning a longer trip, such as a vacation or a business excursion, then your car will quickly rack up the miles. It will also be more vulnerable to a break down. Here’s how to get your car prepared for the long trip ahead.

1.Pull out your owner’s manual. Before heading out on a long trip, check your owner’s manual to determine what maintenance due items should be handled. Include all those items that will come due while you are on the road. Leave nothing to chance — address these items now.

2.Examine and rotate your tires. Your tires may be in great shape or they could use some maintenance. Chances are they’re due to be rotated. While you’re doing that, examine each tire for wear and tear. Uneven wear, cracks, blistering and bulging are signs that the tires need to be replaced. It might also show that your front end is out of alignment. Replace your worn tires, have the front end realigned and don’t forget to check your spare tire. Make sure the spare has a lug wrench, jack and work gloves present. Take your car to one of the local tire stores for an inspection.
3.Check the battery. Your car’s battery supplies electricity to help your car run. When it is working as planned, you have what you need. However, if the car battery is old, shows signs of corrosion, or the connections are not secure, then the battery will need maintenance or it may need to be replaced.

4.Inspect the brakes. Worn brake pads mean your car won’t always stop as you intended it to. Here, you will need to have pads and shoes replaced as well as rotors, drums, and calipers checked. It also may be time to have your old brake fluid replaced with fresh fluid and specific components lubricated. Check your brakes and remain safe!

5.Consider weight and balance. If you are packing your car with your family and are bringing with you a lot of stuff, you need to make sure that the added weight is within your vehicle’s weight tolerance, namely its payload. Also, your storage area should be evenly distributed weight wise to ensure that it is balanced properly. Out of synch weight and balance means it will impact steering and handing. It might also cause a blow out.

6.Change your oil. It may be time to change your vehicle’s motor oil too. If so, replace the oil and the oil filter at the same time. This can be a good time to replenish or flush other fluids, including brake fluid, the transmission, and the coolant. All fluid levels should be sufficiently topped off before you head out.
mechanic changing a car wheel.
7.Check your license, registration and insurance. Is your driver’s license valid? Is your registration current? How about your insurance — is your current card included? Ensure that your vehicle information is up to date because you can’t do much about it when you’re on the road, far from home.

8.Assemble or update your emergency kit. Every car owner should have at least a basic emergency kit with them when they take to the road. At minimum, a working flashlight, tools, and jumper cables should be included. Depending on the season, you might include other supplies, especially if you are traveling by yourself. Food, water, blankets, a change of clothes, duct tape, a snow shovel, kitty litter, and other supplies can come in handy if you become stuck with no help within range.

Hitting the Road

For drivers taking a long trip alone, sharing one’s itinerary with someone you will see on the other end is important. That way, if you don’t arrive on time, calls can be made to send help your way.
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About Parvesh Bravo

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