Get Your Car Road Trip Ready in 5 Easy Steps

Road trips are a great way to experience new surroundings without having to stick to a tight schedule, but this does come with a fair share of responsibility. In addition to carefully choosing your itinerary and making sure that you don’t forget anything important, you need to get your car ready for the adventure, for the sake of your comfort and so that you can guarantee safety for everyone involved.

1.      Fluids

Okay, this really is a no-brainer, but checking your fluids is the first step that you should cover; it is easy to overlook. Check the oil, coolant fluid, brake fluid, as well as the windscreen wash levels to keep the unnecessary breakdowns and even potential accidents at bay. Also, keep an eye on clutch fluid and power steering fluid levels, while you’re at it. The locations of the mentioned reservoirs vary from car to car, but your owner’s manual should contain all the necessary data.

2.      Changing the Oil

Never presume that the oil levels you have at hand are “probably going to be enough”. Road trips put more stress on your motor than your casual commuting. It is important that you note that adding extra oil by yourself won’t really do the trick – the sludge from used oil will still be there and it may cause problems. Therefore, instead of changing the oil, you should get the oil changed. If you think that the liquid in your engine is clean, you may be mistaken – continuously adding new, clean oil will appear as if things were clean. Whenever your changing your car’s oil, replace the filter too, especially before a road trip.

3.      Check the Air Pressure

The numbers on the side of your tires indicate the max pressure allowed on the given model, so checking the air pressure in order to make sure that everything is in order will spare you a spare tire and the hassle and time that you’ll need to spend in case of a flat tire. Naturally, the air pressure in your spare also needs checking – you don’t want to end up wasting hours on waiting for AAA instead of enjoying the ride during your holiday.

4.      Make Sure that All Lights and Signals are Functional

Traveling without a properly functioning headlight is extremely risky (and illegal!) during the night. The easiest way to get everything checked is to get another person to help you here. Sit in the car, and start turning on the lights and signals, asking your friend if each one is working or not. If a light or a signal isn’t working or properly (or at all), replace the bulbs. Additionally, carrying spare bulbs on a road trip is the smart way to go – should a malfunction occur, you’re better off spending a couple of hours on changing them than risking a potential accident. If a malfunction should occur on the road and you have any issues replacing the bulbs, it is always good to have a roadside assistance plan in place with experts such as RoadsideVIP who are at your service 24/7. Better be safe than sorry!

5.      Pack All the necessary Emergency Equipment

Here’s a list of all the emergency equipment that you will need:

  • An up-to-date map (not downloaded onto your phone, you need it in physical form)
  • A working smartphone
  • A spare tire
  • Emergency tools, such as a flashlight, pliers, screwdrivers and an adjustable spanner
  • Flares
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Medical kits
  • A reflective warning triangle (mandatory in the EU)

These five steps should make sure that your vehicle is road-worthy. If any issues or uncertainties occur, always refer to the experts, prior to, during, or after you get going. Oh yeah, and have fun and safe road trip!

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