One of the most exciting things about a long road trip is actually the preparation phase. Choosing the destination, checkpoints and places you’d like to see is almost as exciting as actually being there. If everything goes according to the plan or if, at least, no major issues emerge during the trip, you might be having the time of your life.
However, in order for that to happen, you need to take care of quite a few things before setting out. One of them is your car, possibly the most important contributor to the overall experience. If it’s prone to breakdowns or simply old, you’re running a serious risk of spoiling the whole trip for everyone involved. So, what is it that you can do to prepare your car for a lengthy road trip, thus minimizing the chances of anything going wrong?
A Month Before the Trip
Have your car inspected by your mechanic and make sure any major repairs are done on time. Also, if you’re planning to be away on the day when the car is supposed to have a regular heavy-duty scheduled service, make sure you do it before the trip.
Depending on the area you’re planning to travel, your car might be exposed to different weather conditions, so it’s important to check the coolant, which protects the engine. You don’t need a mechanic for this, because it’s a pretty simple procedure.
Next, make sure your tires are up for it and that they don’t need replacing. Having the proper tire tread and pressure in them is crucial, since only then can you expect your journey to be safe. If you suspect that there is even a slightest problem, make sure you have the tires replaced. Finally, make sure that your spare tire is also fully inflated and that you have all the tools for changing a tire if you have a puncture.
Also, you need to check that you know where the owner’s manual, registration, and proof of insurance are in case you need them. While checking their presence, double check that your registration and insurance won’t expire during the trip.
A Week Before the Trip
This is the last moment to have everything checked, for example oil and tires. In case the pressure is not the same as it was the last time you checked, you need to sort the problem out. This is also the time when you need to get rid of any unwanted or unnecessary things from the car. You need to travel light as much as possible in order to put less strain on your car.
Air filters should also be checked at this point, if you haven’t already done that. This is another thing you can do without a mechanic’s help. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions about how often you need to replace the air filter.
Having some sort of roadside assistance program is an absolute must, since you never know what can go wrong. Even if you do everything right, there are still elements you can’t control, which is why it’s necessary to be prepared.
A Day Before the Trip
Give your car a good wash and start packing. Check the tire pressure again and take into account the fact that you’ll probably be loaded with stuff and travelling at higher speeds. Fill the tank, so that you don’t have to stop as soon as you start the journey.
On the Day
Double-check that you have evenly distributed the load, charged your phone and make sure you don’t forget someone. Hopefully, you’ll have a great time and your car won’t give you any trouble.
There you go. Following these simple steps will definitely give you a peace of mind before a long trip, which should result in an unforgettable experience.