Road trips are always fun and exciting, but they can turn into a nightmare if you have to deal with car problems along the way. Running into car problems can ruin your whole trip as it will disrupt your plans and schedules. So you should always prepare yourselves and your car before you leave for a long road trip.
Here is a list of things that you should check to ensure your safety and the safety of the car and to ensure a fun, exciting and tension free ride before you start your trip.
Check up on your car’s maintenance and repairs
Any sensible car owner knows that the car has to be serviced and maintained regularly to ensure its long life. You should have these maintenance checkups regularly two or three times a year, but if you are planning to leave on a long cross country road trip you should consider taking your car to the mechanic for a routine checkup. This is very important so that if there is any sort of issue or problem with the car it is caught early and before you leave on a cross country trip.
Locating these small problems and fixing them before leaving will make you able to enjoy the trip without worrying about any mechanical breakdown during your trip. Apart from the check up from the mechanic, you should also put fresh fluids like engine oil and brake fluids in the car to make sure it runs smoothly.
Check if you have all the car’s paperwork with you
Any sensible driver should always keep their vehicle’s paperwork with them, especially when their trip is long and in unfamiliar areas. You will have to pass many security check posts and toll stations during your trip, and you never know when you can get pulled over, so it is very important to be prepared for these situations beforehand rather than running into trouble later.
You never know you can even get in an accident and the car’s paperwork will be essential then. Hopefully, this is not the case, but you should be prepared nonetheless. So before you embark on the exciting and adventurous road trip, double check that you have all the important documents like Proof of Car Insurance, Vehicle Registration, Driver’s License, Road Side Assistance Contact Number, Owner’s manual and Warranty information with you.
Check if you have an emergency kit packed
You should always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. So hopefully you never run into an emergency, but it is crucial that you are ready for it if you do. Before you leave, you should make an emergency kit which has stuff like a set of jumper cables or a fully charged jumper pack, a first aid kit, some reserve food and water and a flashlight.
You should also have a small tool kit in your car so that you can do minor repairs yourself if you’re in a pinch. Your kit should at least have wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, spare electrical cables and fuses, a car jack and electrical tape. If you don’t already have these components, you can get them easily at www.Carifex.com, which is an amazing website for automobile accessories and parts.
Check the battery and other electrical components of the car
Many times a car is finely tuned and mechanically maintained, but still, if it runs into problems, this is usually due to electrical failure of the car. It is very important that you also check and maintain the electrical components of your car along with all the mechanical maintenance that you do to ensure a safe and smooth drive.
You should check the battery and other electrical components like the car’s computer, fuses, engine cooling fan, air conditioning or heating unit and lights etc. You also need to keep a spare car battery or at least a jumper kit in your car in case you have any battery problems along the way.
Check the tires and brakes of the car
Most accidents on long trips are caused due to damage of either the brakes or the tires. It is very important that both these components are checked thoroughly and maintained for a safe ride. You should but fresh brake fluid in the brakes and check if they are in good condition. Your tire also should have ample traction and road grip.
Also, make sure to keep at least one spare tire and a tire changing kit in your car so that in case you have any problems, you can easily change your tire.
Consider joining a roadside assistance program
During a long road trip, you may run into some problems that you may not be able to fix, and the side of the highway is not a place to find a mechanic easily. So for situations like this make sure that you don’t have to rely on other drivers by joining a roadside assistance program.
There are many roadside assistance programs like AAA, AAPR and Allstate operating in the US that can provide their services almost anywhere, anytime. This is an excellent method to make sure that you can get out of any car problems with relative ease and comfort.
Check the map of your trip and create a refueling and maintenance plan
Of course, nearby your home you have a gas station which you can trust to provide quality gas that best suits your car; this is a luxury that will not be available on a cross country trip unless you study a map of your route and find a trusted gas station along the way before you leave. You can create a refueling plan according to the tour so that you don’t have to get gas from new untrusted sources.
Similarly, you should find mechanics and car service centers along the way before you leave so that you can have the car maintained along the way or in case you have an emergency you already know where the nearest mechanic is.
I hope the simple tips mentioned above help you out. Have an amazing trip pals!