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How to check your car before a road trip

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Road trip songs on your playlist, check. Comfy clothes while traveling, check. Snacks to munch on, check. Wallet, map, documents, and car emergency kit, check. You’re all set for an adventurous road trip – but what about your car? You sure don’t want to be stranded on a lonely road because of a car breakdown. Don’t worry – we’re letting you in on how to check your car before a road trip for a hassle-free journey.

How to check your car before a road trip infographic

Check the fluids  

Before you hit the road, check the fluid levels in your car. Check the level of coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, and brake fluid. These fluids play a critical role in various functions of the car, so make sure they are at an optimal level before your trip. If they are low top them off. You can refer to the car’s owner’s manual to locate these spots. Also, check the level of engine oil or change the engine oil if necessary.   

Check the brakes  

Traveling with worn-out brake pads is a great risk and can be a reason for mishaps on roads. Run a check on your brakes before you go on a trip. Usually, squealing noise from the car’s brakes indicates worn brake pads. Check with a car mechanic and replace them. Car maintenance experts recommend changing brake pads at anywhere between 25,000 and 70,000 miles.   

Read: The only car maintenance checklist you’ll ever need

Check your engine air filter  

Your car’s engine air filter prevents dirt, dust, and contaminants from getting into the engine. Over time it can become dirty and clogged with dust and debris. Make sure the engine air filter is cleaned and dirt-free for better on-road performance.  

Inspect the tires 

Car tires are important parts of the car that needs your attention before a road trip. Before you begin the trip, check the tire pressure, and while you are at it, check the spare tire’s pressure. Next, inspect the tire tread. You can get it checked by a mechanic, or you can do it at home using the penny method. With Lincoln’s head pointed down, place a penny in a tread groove. If no portion of Lincoln’s head is visible, it’s time to replace your tires.  

Check your car battery  

The general rule of thumb is to replace your car’s battery every three years. If you have crossed or are about to cross the mark, it’s best to replace it before your trip. Also, check if the connections in your car’s battery are tight and corrosion-free. If you notice corrosion, clean it immediately. Are you unsure about cleaning your car’s battery? Here’s our blog post on how to clean car battery corrosion the right way.   

Don’t forget the lights and wipers  

Lights and wipers in a car play a crucial role in the visibility and creating a safe driving environment. Therefore, it’s best to get them checked and make sure they are in good condition. Check if the headlights, parking lights, and brake lights are working properly. If you find your windshield wipers worn out and cracked, replace them with a new pair.   

Read: Why road trip car games are the best things since sliced bread

Make sure the air conditioning is working properly  

If you’ve planned your road trip in summer, check if your car’s air conditioning system is working properly. The sweltering heat can make suck out all the fun out of your road trip if you don’t have a good air conditioning system in place.   

Visit a car wash near you   

Visiting a car wash near you is a perfect way to prep your vehicle for a road trip. It can make your car look spotless and can help in improving the car’s overall performance on the road. To access some of the best car washes near you, start using Way.com. The car wash booking process on the Way.com app and website is simple and hassle-free. You can now book top-rated and affordable car washes near you with a few button taps.   

If you are planning a road trip with your kids, check our post on 5 fun (and free) road trips games for kids. 
Are you traveling with your furry friend, check out this blog: Essential tips for pawsome road trips with pets

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Read our blogs for information on the best airport parking and hourly parking spots near you and the most affordable insurance for your car.


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