Are you looking forward to the summer? Chances are, you’ll be taking a road trip at some point. The tips included in this article will help you travel to your destination safely.
When you are traveling long distances, any number of things can happen to your car. Depending on its age, it may have difficulty completing the trip, which is why there is some basic maintenance that should be performed before you get on the road.
What Should You Do Before You Leave On Your Road Trip?
Check The Tires
Make sure your tire pressure is okay before you take off. Also, take a look at the tread to ensure that the tires are in good shape. Uneven wear is certainly a warning sign. Make sure you have a spare tire with you; depending on where you are driving, you may not be able to get a replacement right away and will need something dependable to drive on until you get to your destination. Finally, make sure you remember to take off your winter tires and put on your summer tires prior to leaving.
Take It To The Shop
Bring your car into the shop to have routine maintenance performed well ahead of your trip. Get the oil changed and the tires rotated. Have your fluids topped off. Ask the technician if there is anything you should do to ensure that the car does well on the trip.
While there, ask to have your cooling system looked at. This is generally not something you want to do on your own, unless you have prior experience with automobiles. You want the cooling system to perform well on the trip or you may not have an enjoyable ride.
Look Over The Vehicle
It is important to make sure your battery, wiper blades and steering components all look good. This may be best left to the professionals as well. Don’t forget about your compressor clutch, ball joints and tie rod ends, as well.
Take An Emergency Kit
Always have an emergency kit with you when you go on road trips. Include a flashlight and first aid supplies. Also pack water and food (only include items that won’t go bad). You’ll also need tools, extra washer fluid, jumper cables and flares.
Pack With A Purpose
If you are going away for five days, you don’t need ten days of clothing. Think about what you need for each day that you will be gone. Only pack those items and try to reuse things whenever possible. If you weigh down your car with a lot of unnecessary items, you’ll pay more in gas. In addition, the more you pack, the more difficult it will be to fit everything safely in the car. Make sure to have a small bag that is easily accessible and contains items that you might need at a moment’s notice (like a camera or your water bottle).
Make Sure You Are Well Rested
Depending on the destination, you may be behind the wheel for a long period of time. Get a good night’s sleep leading up to your departure. Plan to take brief stops along your route. If you are traveling with someone, share the driving responsibilities. If you feel yourself getting tired, stop and find a place to rest. Caffeine can help, but you don’t want to rely on it.
See The Sights
Make your drive fun. Plan a route that will allow you to see new or interesting things. Of course, you want to get to your destination. But, there is nothing wrong with taking a little extra time to enjoy the journey.
If you are towing something behind your vehicle, don’t rush, don’t speed. Take turns slowly. Don’t change lanes unless it is absolutely necessary. Finally, test out your mirrors before you leave to make sure you can see behind you.
Avoid Nighttime Driving
You be more alert during the day, so you should drive when it is light outside whenever possible.