Are you headed out on a road trip this summer? Before you leave, make sure your car is road ready with a pre-road trip checkup! You need your car to safely reach your destination, so make sure you take care of these key pieces of maintenance before you set out. 

1. Check All of Your Fluids

Your car needs a lot of fluids to run effectively. Low fluids can cause your engine to overheat or your brakes to fail. They may interfere with your power steering or simply leave you unable to clean your windshield as it gets dirty throughout the course of your trip. Before you leave, make sure you check:

  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Radiator fluid
  • Windshield washer fluid

2. Schedule Your Oil Change

Check the little sticker in your window: are you getting close to time for an oil change, either in terms of the miles you’ve driven or the length of time from your last oil change? If so, go ahead and schedule your oil change before your road trip. It might not be the most convenient thing you’ve done recently, but it will ensure that you don’t have any mechanical problems when you set out on your trip. 

3. Replace Your Tires if Needed

Nothing puts a damper on a road trip faster than a flat tire that leaves you stranded on the side of the road. In a best-case scenario, you’re probably going to be stuck for a couple of hours while you wait for a tow truck or a tire replacement. Instead, go ahead and take care of your tires before you head off on your trip. If the tread is looking worn or you have any suspicions of a leak, it’s time to replace your tires–and you want to do it before your road trip, not after. Even if the treads look great, check the air pressure in your tires before you head out. Make sure that it’s set to the recommended level. If it’s been a while since you last rotated your tires, right before your road trip is a great time to take care of that, too. 

4. Have Your Car Checked Out

In addition to basic maintenance, take your car in for a checkup before you head off on your road trip. The more miles you need to cover, the more important it is that your car gets you there safely–and a car that needs some basic repairs may leave you stranded in the middle of your trip. Take your car in to a mechanic to check for:

  • Healthy brakes
  • Intact belts that don’t show signs of increasing damage 
  • Hoses that are squishy and able to easily transport fluids, rather than hard and cracking
  • A battery that starts fast and smoothly, rather than one that is nearing the end of its lifespan

5. Do Your Own Check

You know your vehicle better than anyone else: the little noises it makes, the way it drives, the way it steers. Before you head out on your road trip, do a test run on a local highway. If you notice anything unusual, including shaking, strange sounds, or problems with the way it handles, take it in and let your mechanic know about the problem so that you can take care of any repairs now, not while you’re out on vacation.

Are you getting ready to head out on a road trip this summer? Don’t let your car let you down! Instead, contact us today to schedule a pre-road trip checkup and get your car running as smoothly as possible so that when you head out on your trip, you have a higher level of assurance that you’re going to reach your destination as well as a smoother, more comfortable ride.