The sun is out, the sky is blue, and the open road is just calling your name. Many people have fond memories of a road trip from yesteryear. Cross-country traveling with a friend or spouse and taking in the local sights and scenes along the way is a story we’ve heard quite a few times.
A road trip is good for the soul, and when you mix spring weather with a road trip? Well… you’ve just about hit the jackpot.
Wherever you’re heading this spring and summer, there are a few things you should always do before a road trip to make sure your car is ready for the extra mileage. Here’s our recommended checklist to review before backing out of the driveway and heading onto the highway.
Is Your Vehicle Road Trip Ready?
Check Your Battery
Most of us don’t think twice about our car battery until we turn the key and nothing happens. By routinely testing your vehicle’s battery and electrical system, you can reduce your risk of failure and keep an active log when your battery begins to weaken and shows signs of extended wear.
Inspect Your Tires
Before you add miles to your vehicle, think about the wear and tear on your tires. Tires are an integral piece of your vehicle, and because of their role, they experience wear and tear much more frequently than some of the other mechanisms in your car.
When checking your tires, check your tread depth first. Low tread wear isn’t just dangerous in wet conditions, but also affects your tire’s overall ability to grip the road. This is super important when you’re traveling at higher speeds on highways.
Don’t forget about your tire pressure, either! You’ll need to use a tire pressure gauge to measure your tires’ current PSI. Your vehicle owner manual should provide the correct PSI level for tires on your vehicle, and most gas stations have an air fill station if you need to top off before you hit the road.
Check Your Brakes
If you drive your vehicle regularly, you should be able to feel as your brake pads wear and need replacement. Typically, drivers will experience pulsating or vibrating brake pedals when the pads need to be replaced. If you notice that you need to push down harder on your brake pedal in order to slow, that’s another good indicator that you are due for new brakes.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to have your brake pads checked every 15,000 miles or so (or six months) to gauge where they are in their lifespan.
Top Off Your Fluids
Regular vehicle maintenance should have you topping off your top five fluids about every four to six months. It’s even more important to make sure that your fluids are full before a long road trip, as you are putting more wear on your engine due to the longer distance driven compared to your typical day-to-day.
Here are the top 5 fluids we recommend topping off before a road trip:
- Transmission Fluid
- Power Steering Fluid
- Engine Oil
- Brake Fluid
Next Stop: The Open Road
If you’ve inspected your vehicle and feel confident that you’re ready for the road, there’s only one thing left to do…click that seatbelt and head on your way! We love all things cars at Bumpers Etc., so we wish you well on your spring or summer road trip and want to remind you that we are always a phone call away should you need us!
Bumpers Etc. has continuously looked for ways to create a positive experience when we service our clients and their vehicles. Since 2007, we have been your #1 body repair shop because of our superior customer satisfaction. We have earned and kept our customer’s trust with our expert knowledge, giving you the peace of mind that your vehicle is in caring and capable hands.