Road trips can be exhausting and draining to do. However, this is still fun because of the company shared with friends and family. Road trips can be long and taxing not only for the driver and passengers, but also for the vehicle itself. Therefore, the preparations to make for a long road trip not only involve the basic necessities and things for the travelers. Just as important is the preparation of the car for the long trip ahead. Doing so can insure a safe, smooth and enjoyable trip.
How can roadtrippers prepare the car for the trip ahead?
Check the Fluids
Just like running a marathon where human participants need fluids before, during and after the race, the same can be applied to cars. There are important fluids that need to be checked before your car goes on a road trip.
The brake works through the principle of hydraulics, where applying force to the brake pedal transfers the pressure from the brake pedal to the brake pads, which clamp the rotor to slow down the car. If you notice that stepping on the pedal feels spongy or the pedal is at a lower level than usual, the fluid may be contaminated. To prevent possible mishaps due to faulty brakes, make sure to replace the brake fluid before the travel and if necessary, flush and replace it every 40,000 miles.
Long travels will mean the engines produce a lot more heat than usual. The radiator, which works to keep the engines cool, needs to work double time and will need maintenance in the radiator fluid level. Low radiator fluid or coolant level can result in overheating, which could stop you in your tracks.
Other Car Fluids
Transmission fluid, power steering fluid and windshield fluid are also essential fluids that need to be replaced. Power steering is important for smooth navigation and turns. Transmission fluid is important for smooth gear shifts. Windshield fluid is also necessary for wiping off dust and dirt that can accumulate in the windshield and help you see where you are going. According to Auto Shop Accessories, regular replacement of car fluids, especially engine oils to keep engine performance at the optimum level.
Check the Wheels
The wheels are important for a comfortable, safe and fuel-efficient ride. Roadtrippers know the importance of fuel efficiency in long road travels. Underinflated tires are sure to waste gas. On the other hand, overinflated tires make the comfortability of the ride worse due to being less compliant. Another thing to watch out for is the uneven inflation of the tires, which could cause uneven wear to the tires, which could necessitate unnecessary replacement. Check for the even pressures of all the tires and do another check every 1000 miles of travel. Also check for other items connected to the wheels, such as suspension calibration, weight balance and road conditions. Also check for the brake pads. These are important for slowing and stopping your car. These can wear away with regular use, and could become too thin. Remember to change the brake pads anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 miles.
General Car Maintenance
Also keep other important car components in good working condition. These contribute to making your road travel safe and smooth.
Burned out lights are especially hazardous when driving at night. Check the headlights by turning your car on, switching the headlights on and in Park mode. Check the light from the outside to see signs of being burnt out. Do the same steps for the signal lights. Lastly, check the taillight condition by holding the brake pedal using a brick or rock.
The air filters can keep the interior air quality in the engines at optimum levels. Traveling on a long road trip can give cars significant exposure to dust, mud and bugs. Clogged air filters can affect engine performance and fuel economy. Make sure to change the air filters regularly, preferably every 12,000 miles.
Belts and Hoses
Give your engines a quick check. Check the belts by giving them a squeeze and making sure that they are tight, with very little slack. Check for cracks, frays or gaps in the teeth in the belts and replace them quickly. Check hoses for any fluid draining or leaking out, especially near the joints. Ignoring these warning signs can spell trouble while on the road so, fix the leaks or replace if necessary.
Having a great road adventure can make worthwhile memories by traveling with your family or friends. Make sure that the road trip is not ruined by making these necessary precautions before going on a trip. Once the car is secured, half of the trip is all set and secured. So prepare your car and enjoy your road trip.