The road trip is a time-honored American tradition. Every summer, countless people hit the highways in search of adventure or simply sightseeing. Over the holidays, still more pack up and head off to visit loved ones. While many people like road trips for the spontaneity, it’s important to do a bit of planning before you hit the road, especially when it comes to ensuring your vehicle is up for the journey. The following tips will help you make sure your car is in good working order so that you can be confident it will get you to your destination safely.
Take Care of Overall Maintenance
To be on the safe side, take your vehicle in for routine maintenance such as a tune up and an oil change. Your car will be in the best possible condition and you won’t have to worry about handling any of these issues while you’re on the road. Also, check all fluid levels as well as moving parts such as windshield wipers, door locks and windows. It can be difficult to replace components such as these if you’re traveling and not near a repair shop.
Charge Your Battery
Inspect your battery to ensure it’s fully charged, and if it’s been a while since you replaced it, buy a new one before heading out on your trip so you won’t get sidelined by a dead battery. Also, ensure you have jumper cables with you in case something does happen and your battery dies.
Inspect Your Tires
A flat tire is not only a nuisance, it can also put you in danger, especially if it goes flat in the middle of traffic, during severe weather or when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Problems with your tires can also cause a blowout, which could result in a car accident. Before you leave, examine every tire up close, searching for holes, bulges, tears or worn tread. You can patch minor damage, but for safety it might be best to simply replace any tire you’re not sure about. Also, make sure you have a spare tire and a jack in case you do run into trouble while on the road.
Prepare for Emergencies
Even if you’ve had your car thoroughly inspected before heading out on the road, the unexpected can happen. A belt might break, you might drive over a nail and have a flat tire, or any number of other catastrophes. Create an emergency kit that you can access easily in case something happens. Include road flares you can set out to warn people that your car is stalled, a flashlight, a blanket to cover up with in case it’s cold, and a basic first aid kit.
If you’re planning a road trip, stop by Las Vegas body shop A&K Body and Paint first. We can repair any body damage so you can head out without worrying about the safety of your vehicle.