Going on a road trip is a fun way to travel and is a great way to enjoy the American countryside while on vacation or sightseeing. Before heading out, you want to make sure your vehicle is up for the trip. In this article, United Car Care shares tips on how to check your car in order to prepare for a road trip.
1. Review Scheduled Maintenance and Any Needed Repairs
Regular maintenance includes more than just changing oil and filters. It is worth the effort to check your owner’s manual or have your mechanic give your vehicle a maintenance schedule review to be sure that everything that needs to be checked is in good shape before you leave home. If there have been any non-emergency repairs your vehicle needs but that you have not gotten around to, you should get them taken care of before you leave on a long trip. It is also a good idea to have your mechanic check for any open recalls for your vehicle while it is being worked on. Be sure to also ask for a quick diagnostic test of your vehicle’s major systems to be sure everything is ready to go.
2. Check All Fluid Levels
Even if your vehicle is not due for an oil change before you leave on your trip, you should check all fluid levels. This includes oil, coolant, and brake fluids. Make sure that your washer fluid is topped off as well. If you are not sure how to check the various fluid levels and to be sure they are at the proper level, consult your owner’s manual. Also look for any signs of hose rot, cracks, or leakage under the hood when your engine is off and cool.
3. Check Your Tires
Inspect your tires carefully, looking for excessive tread wear or any bald spots. Also, check for any sidewall cracking or bulging. Check your tire pressure a few days before heading out and again the day before you leave to be sure that your tires are properly inflated and holding pressure. If you think your tires have any excessive wear or damage, or if they are not holding the proper pressure, have them inspected by a tire facility to see if any repairs or replacements are needed. Also, be sure to check your spare in advance. In the event of a problem, a ready and serviceable spare will save time and expense if roadside assistance should be necessary.
4. Check Lights and Signals
It is common for lights to burn out or signals to fail without an owner’s knowledge. While a failed headlight might be obvious, tail lights and brake lights will not necessarily be seen without inspection. Get someone to help you with a walkaround inspection while you test your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, a light repair can be a quick bulb replacement or might need larger component replacements. Also, check your horn. It may not get used very often, but it can be critical when needed.
About United Car Care
United Car Care vehicle service contracts offer reliable protection at an affordable cost, which is exactly what consumers want when looking for mechanical protection for their vehicles. Their product is backed by an A-rated insurer, thus providing contract holders with the utmost security. United Car Care has earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, which speaks to the way they do business—with integrity. United Car Care is proud of the fact that they have had over a million satisfied customers as well as many long-time relationships with their dealers and agents. These relationships are a true testimonial to United Car Care’s core values: quality, dependability, and customer service.