“Are we there yet?”
Everyone who’s been on a family road trip has asked this nagging question. But when you’re on your own, road trips can be even more exciting. However, you’ll have to do all the planning this time.
No matter the reason, you’ve decided that it’s time to pack your bags and head out. The last thing you want is for your car to break down in the middle of your trip. Here’s how to prepare your vehicle before embarking upon your journey:
Check the Tires
Imagine getting a flat tire when you’re in the middle of nowhere. It might just be the worst-case scenario on a road trip, right up there with running out of gas.
Start by checking the pressure of the tires using a tire gauge. Ideally, you want to check the tires before you do any driving; this will ensure a more accurate reading. If one reading is suspiciously low, it could be due to a flat tire. Consider replacing it before you go.
Your car isn’t much use without a functional set of tires. If you’re going off the main roads on your trip, you may need to switch out your tires for custom wheels in Calgary that can handle tough conditions.
Stock It with Snacks
This tip might not relate to a vehicle specifically, but it’s important nonetheless. You’re going to spend a lot of time in your car. And without plenty of snacks, you’ll be tempted to make frequent stops at fast food places and convenience stores. Those costs add up quickly. Save yourself the expense by pre-buying some road snacks.
Refill the Windshield Fluid
Long drives down highways mean one thing: lots of bug splatters on your windshield. If you run out of cleaning fluid, you’ll be stuck with a splattered windshield for most of your trip.
Make sure to top up on washer fluid; to do so, lift the hood of your car, and find the translucent container with a water symbol (note: if your car has wipers on the back windows as well, you might need to refill two containers). Add enough so that it’s almost full, then re-seal the cap, and you’re good to go.
Replace the Lights
Can you imagine what might happen if your headlights burned out in the middle of the night? It’d be unsafe for you and every other driver on the road. On top of that, you could be fined if you’re caught. Make sure to test all your lights, including your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals.
Change the Oil
When’s the last time you booked an oil change? If your car needs one, now’s the time to get it done. Call your local auto body shop to schedule an oil change.
How’s the Battery?
You might not give much thought to your car’s battery—but you will if it dies on you. If you’re driving in cold climates, battery health is especially important. Look under the hood and take a look at the battery. Do you see any visible signs of corrosion? If so, it’s time for a new one.
Schedule Pre-Trip Service
Even if you’re comfortable with DIY work, cars are pretty complicated. You might feel more peace of mind by scheduling a maintenance appointment at your local auto repair shop. A professional can take a closer look at your vehicle and see if anything is amiss.
Keep in mind that this might be expensive—the mechanic may find issues that you were unaware of, ones that could be costly to fix. But if it saves your vehicle from breaking down on your trip, the cost will definitely be worth it.
Ready to Go?
Maybe you’ve decided that you’d rather drive than fly during the ongoing pandemic. But before you set out, you should feel confident that your vehicle will be able to withstand a long trip. Don’t forget your packing list for your fishing trip; a portable fish finder is perfect for impromptu road trips!
Did your car pass your inspection test? If not, it might be safer to rent a vehicle for your trip. We hope that your next road trip is a safe and exciting adventure.