It could be a day, a week, or a month. However the length, road trips are always about the fun and experience. The sights, sounds, and surprises at every turn—it’s like you are playing out your own car movie. By the way, where are you headed this time? Is your vehicle road-trip ready and worthy?
On road trips, the journey often counts more than the destination. From your end, you can expect to travel pleasantly and smoothly when you go over your pretrip car checklist before you hit the road to make way for new adventures.
Your Car’s Pre–Road Trip Checklist
Cars always require routine checkup and maintenance that can happen any number of times in a year, all for the following:
- To prepare for conditions outside, e.g. extreme cold or heat
- To detect or replace worn-out, old, or failing car components
- To ensure that the vehicle is safe and fit for the purpose
Since a road trip means being out in the road longer than the usual commute—i.e. you are driving for the most part of the journey—it is always best to get it in good shape for optimal performance.
The following is a pretrip car checklist. Tick each item once done checking and inspecting.
Check the levels of these liquids, and carry out the related tasks.
- Engine oil: If your car’s due for an oil change, do it before leaving home. While you are at it, examine the transmission fluid level as well.
- Coolant: Check for any leaks or discoloration that indicates the need for replacement.
- Brake fluid: Up for a brake fluid change? Do so before the road trip.
- Windshield washer: Refill it full to wipe out dirt, grime, dust, or ice.
Look for signs of tear, bulge, and wear. It might be a good time to replace your worn or old tires. More importantly, check each tire’s air pressure as the weather can inflate or deflate it. Don’t forget to factor in the load—i.e. passengers and cargo—when adding air pressure for your rear tires.
Check the fluid levels and for any signs of corrosion. It helps to have preventive measures such as annual battery-load tests when your battery is two years old and you live in warmer climates, or when it is four years old and you are in a colder climate.
4. Belts and Hoses
Hoses might have been weakened by fluctuating temperatures, so inspect for cracks, bulges, or frays. Belts can show signs of glazing that could result in cracks.
Check that the lights on your car are working. Wipe the surfaces of your headlights, taillights, signal lights, fog lights, hazard lights, and brake lights so they are bright and visible.
Clean the blades before your scheduled trip. Consider replacing if they are six months or older.
More Pointers for the Road Trip
The checklist can grow longer as you factor in the length of your road trip. That means scheduling a more thorough maintenance check with a mechanic. After all, a dead battery, broken lights, and half-full fluids are clearly preventable and actionable.
Lest you forget, prepare for the actual road conditions. Your car might be met by stones when you traverse a rugged trail. You can dodge these harmful objects with fender flares. They are custom fit for your truck and protect its body from whatever that lies on the surface.
Be on your way, and have a safe and merry trip!
Disclosure: Guest Post