How to Prep Your Car for a Summer Road Trip
Summer road trips are a great opportunity to explore new places, spend time with family and friends, and make memories that will last a lifetime. But before you escape from the stresses of everyday life and the hustle and bustle of your 9 to 5, you’ll want to ensure you’re properly prepared. Here are the top 4 things you should do before heading out on your next road trip.
Tip #1: Schedule a quick tune-up before you go
Before heading out on the road, scheduling your car for a check-up will go a long way to giving you peace of mind and helping to make sure that you can just enjoy your trip. Consider making sure to get an oil change, tire rotation, balancing, and check the braking system and the battery and cooling systems. Not convinced it’s worth it? Here are some of the things you’ll be thankful for if you schedule a regular tune-up right before your next road trip:
- You’ll likely get better performance overall: Even a basic tune-up can help improve your car’s overall performance by restoring power and efficiency. Your mechanic will make sure that there are no failing parts that need to be replaced. Make sure to bring your car in well ahead of your trip so that if there are any major repairs, you’ll actually have time to fix them before you’re set to leave.
- It’s a lot safer: Probably the most important one on this list, is to get your braking system tested for any signs of damage. Brakes are one of those things that you just don’t want to take a risk with. Taking the chance of a failure, especially while you’re on unfamiliar roads far from home, is never a good idea.
- You’re less likely to face an unwanted repair job while on the road: unexpected repairs while you’re on the road can get pretty expensive. Especially since you probably won’t have time to find the best price or the best shop to take your car to. Getting ahead of any issues is likely to save you a lot of money and even more hassle.
Tip #2: Make sure your windshield is ready for the road
A windshield with even a minor crack or bulls-eye is far more likely to break if the windshield is put under any sort of stress, whether that’s big temperature swings or other rocks hitting the glass. Not to mention that with all the driving you’re about to do, you’re more likely than ever to face windshield damage while on the road.
No one wants to deal with this on vacation, especially given how expensive windshields are to replace, so a little prep is definitely worth it.
Getting a windshield protection film installed on your windshield (or doing it yourself if a DIY kit is available) a couple weeks before you go will give you peace of mind that you won’t be google the local glass shop while on your trip. Some films even offer properties like UV protection and hydrophobicity, which means that cleaning the bugs and dirt of your windshield is even easier than usual.
Keep in mind that you’ll want to get this installed at least 2-3 weeks ahead of your trip to give the film time to cure.
Tip #3: Check all fluids & wipers
Even if you’ve had your car checked out by your mechanic a couple weeks ahead, taking a minute in the days before heading out to make sure that your car’s fluid levels are topped off is critical. While washer fluid is the obvious one to stay on top of, double checking your oil, coolant, and transmission fluid levels is also essential.
While you’re at it, take a look at the condition of your wiper blades. This one is too often overlooked by many of us, but dealing with dirty or worn out wiper blades on muddy and dirty roads is not fun.
Tip #4: Check your tire pressure
Lastly, we suggest checking the tire pressure in the day or two before you leave just to make sure that they’re at the guidelines set out by the manufacturer. This will help with fuel efficiency and overall handling of your car, and given how much you’ll be driving, this will make a big difference.
Prepping for your next road trip is more than just planning the route! Making sure your car is in road-trip ready state before you go will help save you time, money, and hassle.
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