My Car Quest

May 26, 2022

Get Your Car Ready For A Road Trip

Are you planning for your road trip? There are many things to prepare for, such as choosing where you will be going, planning activities, and booking hotels. However, one thing you shouldn’t forget is getting your vehicle ready for the road trip. You would not want to waste precious time looking for a mechanic because you didn’t do basic preventative maintenance basics.

Even the most detailed plans won’t save your car if it’s not properly maintained, so it’s vital to ensure preparatory and routine maintenance is performed on your vehicle before going on your long road trip. Vehicle maintenance is usually essential, but it’s more crucial if you are planning on going on a long journey, especially if you will be tackling unfamiliar roads and different weather conditions. However, not to worry, this article outlines a few things you should ensure they are in optimal working condition before heading out.

Check your tires

Your vehicle’s tires are the only parts of the car in direct contact with the road, so it’s essential to take extra caution to ensure they are in excellent condition. For example, ensure that they are inflated correctly, display even tread wear, and are free from any apparent defects.

Also, remember to check for bulges and if you spot any damage, have the tires checked by a professional or get new tires. This is because even the slightest impact from potholes or a curb may damage your tires.

It is also essential to ensure your tires have the correct air pressure. The specific air pressure of any vehicle is usually written on a small label on the inside of the driver’s jamb. This usually means that you should check the tire pressure before driving the vehicle for any length of time. If you use a heavily loaded diesel truck or tow a trailer, ensure you check your tires at every stop.

Check your vehicle’s fluids

Ensuring your vehicle’s fluids are in check will go a long way in ensuring the success of your road trip. While your car’s engine oil is the lifeblood of your engine, there are also other fluids you need to ensure they are replaced. They include;

Engine oil – modern engine oils come with additives that improve lubrication and keep the engine’s components working and moving freely. Like we mentioned earlier, engine oil is the lifeblood of your engine. However, the oil can get depleted over time, hence the need to replace it regularly. Some cars require you to change your engine oil every 1,000 miles so ensure to check your vehicle manual to check when you should top up your engine oil.

Windshield wiper fluid – your windshield wiper fluid is essential in cleaning debris, dust, and bugs from your windshield without having to stop when you are on the road. Most vehicles will indicate when the washer fluid is running low, but the reservoir is under the hood. You can easily ensure it’s full before going for your trip.

Coolant – your vehicle’s coolant is nearly as essential as your engine’s oil. Your vehicle’s coolant not only keeps the engine temperatures down during hot weather but also helps the engine maintain its optimum operating temperatures in cold weather as well. Low coolant can cause your engine to overheat, which may even damage the engine and its components.

Brake fluid – your braking system uses fluid to build hydraulic pressure, forcing the calipers to clamp the brake pads onto the rotors. Brake fluid usually gets contaminated and can absorb moisture which may reduce performance. Ensure you perform services for your brake fluid to be replaced, especially when traveling in unfamiliar territory. You need to have all your parts working, especially your brakes.

Power steering fluid – while electronically powered steering systems are more common nowadays. Numerous cars still utilize hydraulic power steering systems, and they need to use the power steering fluid. When the fluid becomes contaminated over time, it reduces your vehicle’s performance, and possibly leaks could even damage the entire system. You can check for the fluid reservoir under the hood when changing your oil.

Perform routine maintenance on all the car’s components

There are also other areas of your vehicle that you shouldn’t overlook, whether it may be a brand new Subaru or second hand Ford, you should still conduct routine maintenance such as:

Air filters – your vehicle has two air filters, and they are the engine’s air filters which protect debris from getting into the engine, and the cabin air filters, which filter the air going in the car. To ensure your vehicle performs at optimum level and you and your passengers breathe clean air, you should ensure that your vehicle’s air filters are replaced.

Lighting – your vehicle’s headlights will provide lighting when driving in the dark. Remember also the lighting in the cabin should be working. You wouldn’t want to be in the dark and find the interior light is not working. If owning a Subaru, adding illuminating accent as Subaru accessories could also add style and provide brightness inside. Other lightings you could add are door and dome lights. Ensure they are all working and replace them as needed.

Belts and hoses- old cars rely on multiple belts to power the vehicle’s accessories. However, newer models only use one belt to drive the air-conditioning compressors, alternator, water pump, and other components whenever possible. Ensure you do a visual test to check for wear, fraying, or cracks. If you notice, anything ensure you have it replaced immediately by a professional.

Ensure the vehicle is clean

Driving a clean car doesn’t just make up for a good experience behind the wheel but can save you a lot of issues. Especially if your diesel engine is not cleaned well, it may cause some issues. Other than the exterior, ensure that your vehicle’s interior is cleaned thoroughly. You will be spending a few hours in the car every day. You might as well make it a pleasant one by having the vehicle clean and fresh.

Resource: DPF Parts

Road trip

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Summary
Get Your Car Ready For A Road Trip
Article Name
Get Your Car Ready For A Road Trip
Description
Vehicle maintenance is usually essential, but it’s more important if you are planning on going on a long journey.

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