Have you considered taking a road trip this summer? A road trip with family or friends is a great way to explore new places while spending time with loved ones. It's also a little easier on the wallet than most traditional vacations. Not to mention there's so much more sightseeing to do when you go from point A to point B by car. However, it’s extremely important that you ensure your vehicle is in tip top shape before you venture off on any sort of extended road trip. Here's some tips for preparing your vehicle for a road trip.
A Checklist To Prepare Your Car For A Road Trip
Check The Tires
Worn treads on tires are dangerous regardless of whether you're doing extensive traveling or not. Before you head off, check the tread--you may need to replace your tires. It's also smart to check the tire pressure and top off with air before your trip (the PSI for your tires should be located on a sticker on the driver's side door frame). To play it safe, make sure your spare is in good shape and bring along a can of tire sealant just in case.
Check The Front & Back Windshield For Cracks
Ignoring a chip or hairline crack in our windshields is tempting, but if ignored for too long you'll see the situation go from bad to worse. Before venturing off, address the cracks. It’s so simple to get a company like Michigan Screen & Window Repair to sort it out for you and it can save you from having to deal with it while on the road, hampering your vacation plans.
Check The Lights
So many of us drive without even realizing a headlight, brake light or signal bulb is out, and it's also a quick way to ensure getting pulled over and possibly fined. Stave off the hassle by having a friend do a walk around your vehicle while you test all your lights. If any bulbs are out, make sure to replace them before you hit the road. Additionally, if your vehicle suffers from dull or yellowing headlights, you'll want to purchase an inexpensive headlight restorer to bring them back to life.
Change The Oil & Top Off The Fluids
Changing your oil is the simplest way to help extend the life of your vehicle. A day or two before your trip, head to a trusted shop and have your oil changed. While there, ask them to top off your fluids, like your coolant, brake and transmission fluids. They may also have other recommendations for you before you ride, like replacing air and cabin filters. Just be careful you aren't upsold on extras you don't actually need (I'm looking at you, transmission flush!).
Even if you make all of the necessary safety checks before you go, there is always the possibility of an unforeseen accident or breakdown. While your auto insurance will handle an automobile accident claim, they might not handle roadside assistance, a tow or a rental you may need while your vehicle is being repaired. Before your trip check your auto insurance to confirm your coverage, then compare their rates for extras with companies like AAA to make sure you're getting the best value for your dollar.
Plan Your Route
Now that your vehicle is in great shape, you can start planning your route. There are tons of sites online that can help you plan your route, schedule your itinerary and even make recommendations and suggestions on what to see and where to stay. Make sure you leave plenty of time for rest stops and site seeing.
Are you traveling with friends in multiple cars? Try the free Wanderlog app to share your route & itinerary, edit your trip in real time, and more.
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We hope that this simple checklist helps you with planning your next road trip. Oh, and I know this technically isn't about your car, but I would be remiss if I didn't include this amazballs infographic on THE best snack recipes for road trips. Happy travels!