Going on a road trip can be fun for the whole family or fun for one single person. However, if you don’t make the proper preparations with your vehicle before you hit the road you can run into some nightmares. It can be especially scaring to break down when you’re alone.
If you want to avoid being stuck on a road in the middle of nowhere there are plenty things you can do to prevent it. Of course, accidents still happen, even to the most prepared people, so you want to be prepared for the worst as well.
Check The Fluids
Start by checking the fluids on your car. This is something you can do on your own but may lead to the need to get your car into the shop. When was the last time you got an oil change or a transmission flush?
Take a moment read over the owner’s manual for your vehicle to get an idea of when these types of things should be done. Most cars can go longer these days between oil changes, so make sure you’re not wasting money getting it done too often. If you’re low on fuels, top them off!
Check Lights, Tires, Etc.
Under the hood isn’t the only place you want to be checking before you hit the road. Get out the tire gauge and make sure your tires have the proper amount of air in them (it says how much they need right on the tires). If they’re low you definitely want to fill them before you get going.
Check your lights. That means checking your blinkers, brake lights, high and low beams as well. If you’ve noticed any issues with your brakes or heard any strange noises, don’t be afraid to take your vehicle in for a quick inspection, your mechanic will be understanding.
Pack Your Emergency Kit
Make sure you have a vehicle emergency kit, as well as a first aid kit, in your vehicle. Your emergency kit needs to have stuff in it that can help you get back on the road when you have a problem. This includes jumper cables, fat fixing stuff, a car jack and a tire iron, among other things (you might even want roadside flares).
You also want that first aid kit, which among the normal items (like bandages and ointment) should also contain motion sickness medicine. It’s also smart to have some water and some shelf-stable snack foods in your vehicle. And, last but not least, have a charged cell phone for 911 calls.
Road trips are fun, but if you didn’t make sure your tires were at the right level or that your oil was full, your trip could quickly go from fun to stressful.