If you are wanting to go on a road trip any time soon then there are several things that you need to check on your car to make sure that it is ready. Usually people take their cars to go on trips if the gas works out to cheaper and so that they don’t have to rent a car once they get to their destination. However, if you have an older vehicle, you may spend just as much in repairs and making the car road trip ready as you would for plane tickets. Just make sure that you compare prices before you actually go spending anything.
Check Your Tires
If you are not familiar with how your tires should look, you might want to take them to a tire company and have them give you their professional opinion. Having to retread tires is no easy feat and can be a little expensive. You may end up having to get new tired. Buying used tires isn’t recommended but is definitely cheaper than going brand new on all four tires. Talk to your local tire company about your options to see if there is something you can do. A well established tire company may be willing to work out a payment plan for you so that you don’t have to pay it all in one go.
Get an Oil Change
Even if you have just gotten an oil change within the last thousand miles or so, you should still get another one. One of the great things about oil changes is that they can also do a general inspection and top of your fluids if you request it. At that point you can also put in a new air filter and other things if the mechanic recommends it. Make sure that you go to a mechanic that you trust to make sure that you aren’t getting ripped off. The same goes for the tire company.
Recharge the AC
If you are driving a long distance in the summer time, the worst thing that could happen is for your air conditioning to go out during the drive. You don’t want to end up driving through the middle of nowhere is a steaming hot car. This is especially true if you have children travelling with you. Make sure that you get the AC recharged and have a professional look at the cooling and heating system to make sure that everything is in perfect condition before hitting the road.
Check the Engine Temperature
You do not want your car to overheat half way through the drive. In order to avoid this, clean off the radiator blades and replace the thermostat if necessary. You probably will want to replenish the coolant as well. Check your fan belt. If it is torn or even worn, make sure that you replace it before leaving for your trip. If that belt breaks completely or snaps, your fan will stop working which will cause the car to over heat and break down. That’s not the type of vacation story that you want to tell. However, if the belt is loose, it may just need to be tightened.
Test Your Starting System
You can take your car to a professional at an auto store in order to check the starting system. This includes the starter, ignition, battery and everything else needed to engage your car when it first starts up. If there is a problem with any of these things, you’ll need to have that seen to before you set out. While you’re in there, you might have them check the suspension of the car as well. This will give you a smoother drive and cause less damage under the hood while you are trying.
The nice thing about road trips is that they don’t cause a lot of wear and tear on the car. It’s the start and stop city travel that really does a number on cars. Freeway miles don’t cause many problems. The reason you want to check all of these things is because you don’t want to be stuck in an unfamiliar place if something ends up going wrong. Have your car checked out at home where you know a mechanic you can trust.
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