How to Prepare Your Car for a Long Road Trip

by Bianca Garrison - February 27, 2020
Happy couple looking at a map in the back of their car

It’s that time again! Spring break is right around the corner and you may be thinking about taking a road trip. The sunshine, flowers, and clear skies make us all want to pack up the car and go. No matter how long or short your road trip may be, you should prepare your vehicle for the journey. You don’t want to spoil your spring break plans with car maintenance issues. Learn what you need to do to prepare your vehicle for a long road trip. 

Get a Car Tune-Up or Car Inspection

A tune-up is routine maintenance that is done on vehicles to make sure they are performing correctly. The auto mechanic will check your vehicle’s transmission fluid, antifreeze/coolant, radiator coolant, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, and power steering fluid. They’ll also check to see if any hoses or belts need to be replaced. 

Check Your Tires

Be sure to check your tire pressure and check the wheels for any bulges or cracks and examine the condition of the tire treads.

Test Your Brakes

This is pretty straightforward. Before you travel, you need to make sure your brakes are working properly. Listen for any squeaking or scraping sounds. 

Perform a Battery Test

This will verify your battery’s capacity, the charging system’s health, and how both perform under load.

Get an Oil Change

It’s a good idea to have fresh oil and filter in your car before a long trip. 

Make Sure All Lights and Signals are Working

This helps prevent accidents. Ask a friend to help you with this. Sit in your car, turn on all the lights and signals and ask him or her if the lights are working correctly. Check brake lights, headlights, and all interior lights. Be sure to keep spare bulbs in your car. 

What Else Do I Need For a Long Road Trip?

In addition to making sure your car can handle the trip, there are a few more things you can do to prepare for your trip. 

Make Sure You Have Cash

You may have to pay tolls, so make sure you have cash on hand because some toll booths still don’t take credit/debit cards. 

Load Up on Food and Water

Make sure that you have plenty of snacks and water to make sure that you don’t get hungry while driving. You can go miles without seeing a drive-thru or gas station, so make sure you have food and water before you take off. It also helps you save money. 

Clean Your Car Inside and Out

You may be thinking, “my car is going to get dirty anyway, why clean it?” Starting a long road trip with a clean car is always a good idea. You may be in the car for hours, so you want to make sure that your vehicle is clean and smells fresh. It will make your drive more pleasant. 

Enjoy Your Trip

The best time to take your car in at least two weeks before your road trip. Be sure to get a thorough inspection from a qualified and trusted mechanic. Have emergency equipment ready (jumper cables, cell phone charges, etc.), and be sure to let friends and family know where you are going, especially if you are traveling alone. Another important aspect of traveling safely is to have quality car insurance. Bluefire can help you find quality car insurance that works best for you. We work with the top carriers in the country to do the comparison shopping for you. Save time and money and call Bluefire today for a free car insurance quote.

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