The last thing you need during long distance travel is car trouble. Running a few quick diagnostic checks before hitting the road can save you from many headaches and hardships.
Even so, it can be hard to know exactly what needs to be looked over before you leave. This is why we’ve put together this simple road trip checklist.
Road Trip Checklist: How To Prepare for Your Holiday Drive
Here are 5 easy ways to make sure your vehicle can go the distance:
Change the Oil
Generally speaking, you should change your oil about every 6 months or every 10,000 kilometers or so.
However, during long distance travel, your car will be in motion significantly longer than it typically is. Because of this, you might want to get it done sooner.
Inspect Your Tyres
No road trip checklist would be complete without a tyre check. This is one of the most important parts of the road trip checklist as driving on faulty or worn out tyres can place you and your family in immediate danger.
Before leaving for your travels, take a look at your car’s owner’s manual. It should tell you the exact pressure that each tyre should be.
You should check the pressure before you leave with a good gauge and an air hose (available from your auto parts store – although most local service stations should also have a tyre fill station available). It’s easy to book in with your local mechanic for this if you prefer. You should also keep an eye out for any bulges or tears on the tyres, as well as their tread depth.
Finally, make sure that your spare tyre is in tiptop shape. You have the supplies needed to change the tyre should you need to.
Check the Brakes
Check that your brake pads and rotors are in good shape, and that your brakes are functioning properly.
If in doubt, get them inspected or changed professionally.
Check Wipers and Wiper Fluid
If a storm hits while you are driving, you want to be prepared!
So, before you leave, be sure to check your windshield wipers and fluids to make sure that the wipers work properly and the fluids are filled.
Run a Battery Test
The final tip for our road trip checklist is this: make sure that you don’t come up with a flat battery hundreds of kilometers from home.
This step is really important. Especially if your car battery is more than a few years old, as you will really need to make sure that all of the terminals are free from corrosion and the positive and negative leads on the battery are tight.
If your starter is sounding a little bit sluggish, then it’s likely from corrosion or a flat battery.
If you need any help completing this road trip checklist, or have any other questions or concerns about your vehicle, the team at Robert St Automotive is happy to help you.