Heading for a long road trip in your car? There’s nothing quite like hitting the open road and going on adventure or vacation. If you’re headed somewhere, you’ll want to make sure your car is safe and good for the drive. Good vehicle maintenance can help improve your safety drastically. To get a good idea of what you’ll need to change, you’ll need to brush up on the car safety essentials. Make a checklist and start with the following.
Feel the brakes
The function of your brakes is a top priority for your car’s safety. You can’t get out of the car garage without being sure the brakes work properly. While there’s not much you can do to inspect them visually, you can get a feel from them during use. If you can sense vibrations or hear grinding when braking, that’s a surefire sign that somethings wrong. It could be a fluid leak, or there might be something wrong with the pads or rotors. Either way, you want to take care of the issue immediately.
It’s recommended that you take your car to a professional if you notice any problems with the brakes. This is one area of your car that you shouldn’t DIY in most cases.
Test the battery
When you’re going on long road trips, you must have a well-functioning battery. Otherwise, you might find yourself stranded with no power and scrambling to get a stranger to jumpstart your car.
Start with the cable connections. They should be as stable as possible, to prevent them from coming off at an inopportune moment. The hold-down hardware can help you keep it tight and in place.
Testing the battery is another good idea, but you can’t do this on your own reliably. Going to a service professional would be your best bet. They can tell you all about the battery’s state and how much capacity is left in it.
Check the fluids
Most cars will require an oil change after a certain distance. Usually, it’s around five thousand miles. If your car is getting near that number since the last oil change, it’s time to get one. When adding it, make sure that the product you use matches the specifications in the owner’s manual. You’ll also have the change the filters, though you’ll need a mechanic to help you with this task.
Brake, coolant, and power steering fluids need to be topped up as well, though this depends on the model of the car in question. Some of them are easily replaced on your own, while others require a trip to the mechanic. As always, you should consult the manual to see what to do exactly.
Get a maintenance check
If you’re going on the road, you’ll want to make sure that your whole car is ready for the trip. Without examining every part of the car, there’s no way to know where an issue will pop up. Because of this, it’s best if you take your car for a quick maintenance check. This way, you won’t have to burden yourself with inspecting the car on your own.
Plus, it can be easy to miss problems if you aren’t good with cars. Why bother risking it when you can visit a mechanic and take care of it. It’s true that many don’t inspect everything or don’t do it quickly enough, but there are shops where you can get a full service done pronto. Lots of car owners go to One Stop Auto Care for their maintenance needs before a trip, after which they hit the road with ease. It’s a convenient option for checking the most important elements of your car.
Fix the wipers
When travelling, there’s a high chance that you’ll run into rain and even snow in the colder seasons. Since you’ll be on the road, you’ll need your wipers to keep the windshield clear enough to drive. If they fail at a bad time, you won’t be able to move through bad weather.
You should check the windshield wipers for any signs of deterioration. If they are damaged or leave streaks when they’re activated, you should replace the blades. At the same time, you should check the windshield washer. It has to have enough fluid to function, and the nozzles should be able to spray consistently. Use a fluid that’s good for washing away insects and other types of debris, as you’ll have a lot of them on your windshield while on the road.
There’s no shortage of things to pick on your checklist for car safety. Whether it’s the brake fluid or windshield wipers, you have to get everything in order before you go out on a long drive. The good news is that checking the essentials doesn’t take too long, and car repair services get the rest done in a jiffy. You don’t have to wait a long time before you hit the road.