Preparing your Vehicle for a Road Trip

Are you planning a road trip with your family this summer? Road trips are a great way to see the countryside while spending quality time with your family.

Whether you are planning a long road trip or a short weekend getaway there are important things to check your vehicle for before you go.

Here is what you need to know to make sure your vehicle is up-to-snuff for the trip.

At Least a Month Before

Address Major Repairs

It’s best to address any major vehicle repair concerns at least a month before your scheduled departure. This relieves stress the week you are getting ready to go.

Book an appointment for your vehicle to be checked out if you have any qualms.

Check Fluids

Our cars need hydration just as our bodies need water. Make sure to check the fluids are topped up. Coolant, oil, windshield washer and brake fluid specifically.

Tires

How is the tire pressure in your tires? Are they inflated to the proper pressure? Your owner’s manual should have instructions on proper pressure for your tires.

Incorrect tire pressure can compromise cornering, braking and vehicle stability, or tire failure.

Low pressure can cause extra heat build-up that can lead to a blowout at high speeds. If tire pressure is too high, then less of the tire touches the ground affecting stopping distances.

How is the tire tread? To check the tire tread, place the edge of a coin, like a dime with the queen’s head pointing down, in one the grooves of the tire. If you can see the space above her head, it’s time for new tires.

Here is a video to demonstrate how to check your tire tread.

[youtube height=”500″ width=”100%”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fdCB9NdKd4[/youtube]

Spare Tire Supplies

Ok, start by knowing where your spare is! And if you have one!

How is the tire pressure of your spare? Do you have a jack, wrench and other tire changing supplies?

Knowing where your spare is can will ease your mind and reduce stress in the case of a flat tire, and potentially save you the money required to tow your vehicle.

Glove Box

Check your glove box for the following items; owner’s manual, registration and insurance. Make sure it is all up-to-date before embarking on an escapade. The last thing you want is a ticket for lack of updated registration and insurance, or worse an accident with out-dated information.

Scheduled Maintenance

Before leaving make sure your vehicle has been in the shop for scheduled maintenance like oil changes. This will reduce the likelihood of an avoidable malfunction and ensure your vehicle is operating optimally.

The Week Before You Leave

– Clean your car: the less weight in your vehicle the less fuel you burn. Take out unnecessary items to get better fuel economy.

– Have a map: Make sure you put a map in the vehicle or have a GPS locator in the car so you can navigate the way.

– Consider investing in a car cell phone charge. Is it nice to have full battery powered cell phone at all tomes so that if there is an emergency you are prepared.

The Day You Leave

Finally, your trip has arrived. There are only a few more steps to take to get prepared.

Load the car evenly and carefully. A balanced weight load will help improve fuel, economy, be easier on the vehicle alignment and make for smoother driving on windy roads.

Fill the tank. Leave with a full tank of gas and never let the tank get below ¼, as you may not know when the next gas station is, especially for remote mountain areas.

Let loved ones staying at home know your plan so there is an emergency contact available who knows where you will be.

And finally … HAVE FUN!!!! You are all set to go.

Auto Body Maintenance When You Return

Highway driving can afford your vehicle minor scratched and dent. For dent and scratch repair or windshield chip repair visit your auto body specialist when you get home.

For any questions or concerns related to your vehicle feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!