5 Things to Check Before Your Next Road Trip

Set of engine headers
Image courtesy of Jet Hot Exhaust

You’re all packed up and ready to go on your road trip, but is your car ready for the trip? You don’t want to break down and end up stranded hundreds of miles away from your home. Make sure your vehicle is prepared for the trip and check these five things before you hit the road.

Check your tires

Check your tires to ensure they have enough air and don’t need to be changed due to poor tread. Replace your tire(s) if you notice signs of dry rot, worn threads, or blisters to reduce your chances of blowing a tire on the road. Look on your driver door jamb and inflate your tires to the appropriate PSI to get the best fuel mileage and smoothest ride.

Check engine light

The check engine light might be a hassle, but if it’s on, something is wrong with your vehicle. Go to an auto parts store and have them check the code for you. You’ll have a number of options depending on the code and your make and model of vehicle. Narrow down the options until you correct the issue. A minor issue can quickly become a major one if you don’t take action.

Examine the undercarriage

Problems aren’t only mechanical. Jack your car up and take a good look at the undercarriage. Check for corrosion on metal parts, leaks, cracks, or holes. Replace or repair the damaged parts to keep everything working in proper order, especially on your exhaust system.

Top up fluids

Check all fluids before you leave including your oil, transmission fluid, windshield fluid, and coolant. Get an oil change if you haven’t had one recently. Your owner’s manual should tell you how often you should change your oil, with an average of 5,000 – 7,000 miles for most newer vehicles. Loss of fluids can create costly repairs and leave you on the side of the road, ruining your highly-anticipated trip.

Prepare an emergency kit

You never know when an emergency is going to happen, but be prepared for the unexpected. Keep an emergency kit in your car with a blanket, water, a jack, flashlight, spare tire, and first-aid kit for injuries.

Going on a road trip is an exciting experience, but one that can be quickly ruined if you experience car troubles. Prevent issues by preparing your vehicle ahead of time to ensure you have a safe and trouble-free trip.