Friday, March 29, 2013

How to Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip

Often, preparing your car for a road trip can be a nerve raking experience. You have to pack up your car with clothes, food, equipment, entertainment, and materials needed for an emergency.

Before you leave, here are a few things that you need to remember:
  • Get repairs done: How long has it been since your car's last check-up? Make sure you fixed that taillight that went out or that cracked windshield before you head out on the road.
  • How is your tire pressure and tread? Make sure your tires are well inflated and that the tread is good.
  • Do you have a spare tire? In the event of a flat tire, make sure you know how to change a flat and also have the material needed to accomplish that in your car.
  • Do you have your owners manual and registration? Keep your manual handy in case you have car trouble and have your registration ready in case you get pulled over.
  • Is your car clean? Outside and inside? Having a car that is clean inside and out will make it a better experience for the passengers and the clean windows will make it easier for everyone to enjoy the view.
  • How's your air filter? Changing your air filter regularly can help with your fuel economy and save you some gas money!
  • Do you have a map or a GPS? I know we depend on our smartphones for a quick look at a map, but often we don't get service coverage when we are out exploring. Keeping an old fashioned map handy as well as a GPS can prevent that frantic “oh no, we are lost” moment.
  • Do you have car insurance or roadside assistance program? In the event of a breakdown or car accident it is important to have coverage. Do it now so you don't regret it later.
  • Are you loading and storing everything evenly? Remember that storing belongings or equipment on the roof rack of your car will decrease fuel economy. Also, distribute heavy items evenly throughout the car.
  • Do you have emergency items: jumper cables, flashlight, batteries, a gallon water, first aid kit, blanket, food, sunscreen? It's important to have these items in your car at all times.
  • How are your fluids? Oil, transmission, coolant, power steering, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid. All of these help your car run smoothly and efficiently. Remember to check their levels before you head out on the road!

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