One of the fondest memories anyone can have is going on an epic summer road trip with your closest friends and family. While the memories can last forever, it is important to plan ahead and ensure that your vehicle is in tiptop shape while preparing for any potential mishaps. Check out some simple steps that will ensure that your dream road trip will go off without a hitch!
Check Under the Hood If you plan on driving thousands of miles than you certainly do not want to skimp on your vehicle inspection, whether by a professional or on your own. It is crucial that you check all fluids, that includes everything from your engine oil and transmission fluid to your antifreeze, radiator coolant, power steering fluid and even your windshield wiper fluid.
While you are under there, it is a great idea to inspect your hoses, filters and belts. This includes your air conditioning belt. If said belt or the air conditioning itself seems lacking, get it checked by a professional to ensure that your family stays nice and cool. Finally, check the glove box to ensure that you have your vehicles owner manual, it can be crucial if you hit any problems on the road.
When you are driving long distances with your family, two of the most important parts of your vehicle that you need to check are your tires and your breaks. Check the tire treads by putting a penny in between the treads with Abraham Lincoln’s head pointing down. If you can see the space above his head, it’s time for new tires. Additionally, reference your usual manual to ensure that you add the correct amount of air. Be sure to check all four of your vehicle’s tires, including the spare.
When it comes to brakes, there are several ways to determine whether you need them replaced. Besides getting down on the ground and checking out the thickness of the brakes, you can also listen for the high pitch squeal, harsh grinding or vibrations when breaking which all signal your need of break replacement. Be sure to also check your brake fluid levels, consult your user manual for help. Brakes should be replaced every 12 months or 12,000 miles so be sure to bring your vehicle to a professional if you are not fully versed in changing brakes.
In addition to the actual components of your vehicle, there are many other items to consider when planning your road trip. If you will be sharing driving responsibilities then you want to ensure with your insurance company that they are covered to do so. Additionally, there are items you will want to pack including a map, guidebook or GPS, extra fuses, oil and an emergency kit which should include jumper cables, a knife, flashlight, tire sealant and duct tape. Most importantly, remember to bring your high spirits, your sense of adventure and have a great road trip!
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