One of the best and most important practices before leaving for a long road trip is to check the vehicle you’re planning to use for any glaring or underlying problems to be certain that it is in great condition and running optimally. Doing so will allow you to handle small problems that could make you stop on the road to fix them as well as more serious ones that could potentially lead to a traffic accident.
Here are some important tips you can follow when checking your car before and after a road trip.
Before A Road Trip:
Do a General Inspection
Before checking the specific functions of your vehicle, you may want to do a general inspection to identify potential issues that you may miss otherwise. Check for unusual things that stand out, check the overall condition of the vehicle’s body, etc. You need to be extra careful, especially when travelling with kids.
Check The Fluids
Checking the fluid levels of your vehicle is a must if you’re planning a long road trip. Low levels of oil or coolant may mean there is a leak somewhere. You may also want to double-check your oil’s date and if you need an oil change. Remember to also check the brake fluids; if it’s too low it will make your vehicle very dangerous to drive.
Test all your External Lights and Horns
Long road trips will inevitably include driving in the night, so thoroughly testing that your lights and horns are working as intended is vital. This is a simple but very important test to do.
Check Air Pressure
Make sure that the air pressure in your tire is correct to avoid blown-out tires due to high pressure or wasted fuel due to low pressure. To properly check the air pressure, use a gauge that is widely available at auto stores and an air hose at a gas station.
Check Tire Wear
Check whether your current tires will last the whole road trip; worn-out tires will most likely blow out during the trip and will lead to motor vehicle accidents. You can use a gauge to check the tire’s tread. If it shows less than 2/32” then you will need new tires for the trip.
Check the Battery
You will want to check if your battery is functioning well for a long road trip, especially for batteries that haven’t been changed in years. If your starter sounds very sluggish, you may want to change your battery as soon as possible. This may mean that there is corrosion present or the battery is dying.
Thoroughly Clean Your Vehicle
Give your vehicle a good and thorough washing before the journey. This will clean your car windows which will give maximum visibility on the road. Cleaning out your car will also free up space for all the things you’re going to bring along during the road trip.
After A Road Trip:
Thoroughly Clean Your Vehicle, Again
After long days and nights on the road, your ride will inevitably be dirty, inside and outside. Cleaning all the stains will be a huge hassle but is necessary. A car wash may even be needed because of all the dirt and mud outside and under the car.
Stay Calm During An Emergency
A breakdown is a possibility during the trip and may even cut it short. Approach the problem calmly and try to fix it. If an accident happens, you will benefit from the help of an injury attorney like the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC who can help you recover damages.
Wherever your chosen destination is, we hope that these tips will help you prepare for your next summer road trip. Taking all these precautions will help reduce the risks of breakdowns and accidents so that you and your family will have the best experience and form great memories as you hit the road.