If you’re planning on taking a road trip, there are a few things you should prepare your vehicle for. The following are some things that should be done prior to leaving.
Have a mechanic perform a “maintenance package” which includes general road-worthiness of the car.

Look over the owner’s manual for your car, and keep it in the car. This can tell you things like how to change tires, how to change bulbs, etc. in case you run into trouble far from the immediate help of roadside assistance or a repair shop.

Before your trip, drive the car and look for any vibrations, noises, leaks, etc. If there is anything, take the car to a qualified mechanic. Make sure the car tracks straight. Any “pulling” indicates there could be a problem with alignment (or other things) and this should be checked.

The following is a list of things to check:

1.Have a first aid/emergency kit
2.Have brakes/suspension checked by a qualified mechanic
3.Check Engine oil and transmission fluid levels (change them if you are at your service intervals)
4.Check Engine coolant level – NEVER open when hot!
5.Check Power steering and brake fluid levels
6.Check the condition of battery. Clean the terminals. If cranking is slow, replace battery
7.Check/change air filter
8.Check clamps, inspect for leaks
9.Check tire pressure and inflate to proper pressure. This can be found in the manual or on the sticker in the door
10.Make sure you have a working jack. Also make sure you have the keys for any wheel locks if applicable to your car. Many cars have a lock to prevent tire/rim theft, so you want that with you
11.Check horn, windshield wipers, washer fluid level, and all lights (headlights, tail lights, turn-signals, and interior). Keep extra bulbs in the glove box. Make sure heater/air conditioning work. Check remotes and change the batteries as necessary                                                                                                                                12. If you have them available, be sure to keep an extra set of keys on your person (accidentally locking yourself out of your car should not have to ruin your trip)
For each item above, the owner’s manual will tell you how to properly check them for your car. Do the basics yourself, and have the car looked over by a trusted mechanic to help reduce the chance of issues on the road!

 

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