Driving along the freeway with the sun beaming down, good tunes playing, great company along for the ride and singing along, plenty of snacks on board, and nobody thinking about the destination - just the journey. This is of course, a road trip! And while the idea mostly only comes up during summer, there is no reason you can’t enjoy one with the season having passed.
Are You and Your Car Ready for a Road Trip?
To prevent your road trip from ending disaster, it only takes a couple of maintenance tips and some prep work for you, your passengers, and your car. If you’re up for the challenge and ready for the enjoyment, this checklist has just the information for you.
Getting Your Car Ready
The best place to start with preparation is with the fluid levels in the vehicle you will be traveling in. Your owner’s manual will have advice on your car’s particular fluid needs, however, these are the standards:
- Engine oil
- Brake Fluid
- Transmission Fluid
- Power Steering Fluid
- Washer liquid for your windshield
If any of these levels are lower than they should be, top them up. If you can see that any of the fluids are looking old or like they aren’t able to do their job, replace them instead.
Tires are an important part of a road trip. Not just because they are the very parts of the car which let you move, but their condition can determine whether you’re going to get stuck on the side of the road, and also how much fuel you’re going to use.
Take a few minutes to give each tire a visual inspection for any damage. Bald spots on the tread or cracks in the wall of the tire can lead to a blowout while driving at high speeds. The standard minimum tread
is 2/32 inches, however, varies by state. Check with your local authority to find out. Of course, don’t forget the spare.
Once you are sure all tires are in good condition, check their pressure and adjust it accordingly. If your tire pressure is too low then it can cause additional friction while you drive which can reduce your fuel economy and affect your handling.
If your fluids are low and you need replacements, speak with Bill Rigdon AMSOIL Dealer
at (503) 329-9004
about the type of vehicle you have. With a range of AMSOIL engine lubricants available, Bill Rigdon AMSOIL Dealer
will get you the right one for your top-up or synthetic oil change. If you would prefer, the AMSOIL website
has additional information on all of the products available.
Take a couple minutes to check that each of your headlamps is working, but regular and full, and that all of the indication lights around your vehicle are working. If you are carrying a trailer behind you, make sure the electronics cable is connected and its indication lights are also working and are in sync.
If either of your headlamps is dim, pre-road trip is a good time to replace them both. Keep the old ones in your trunk as emergency spares for you or fellow drivers you encounter.
Summer doesn’t come with a lot of rain, which leaves drivers to forget about their windshield wipers. However, what summer does have is a lot of sun to cause cracks in the rubber of your wiper blades. Give them a quick check before you leave and replace them if necessary.
Whether you have heard the signs or not, get on the ground and check your brakes before you leave. If you can see the indication pin starting to appear or you can see they are on their way out, replace them before your trip. Replacing your brake pads isn’t difficult if you do it at home before. The last thing that you want is to be stuck doing it on the side of the road at night.
Prepare Yourself and Your Passengers
Long drives are not easy and can be mentally and physically draining. Plan your trip with your passengers and decide who will be driving at which point in the journey. Be sure that all drivers are well rested before their driving shift. During your planning, assign each passenger with a task, such as food, drink, entertainment, music, etc. A smooth road trip is just as much about the mood of the passengers as it is about the condition of your vehicle.
Give Your Car a Good Start to Your Road Trip
A couple days before you head out on your journey, speak with Bill Rigdon AMSOIL Dealer
at (503) 329-9004
and arrange any fluids your car needs
. If it has been a while since you changed your engine oil, consider a synthetic oil change
before your drive to give your car a fresh start.