Getting Your Vehicle Ready for a RoadtripJul 20th, 2016
As prices of plane tickets continue to rise, a “staycation” may be a better and less expensive option when thinking about a summer getaway. However if your getaway does involve a road trip in the new Buick Envision for example, there are some things you should look over your vehicle before setting off.
There are a number of things that you can look over just from a simple walk around your vehicle. Arguably the most important thing to check are the tires. Make sure they are properly inflated as per manufacturer specifications and they they don’t have any bulges, tears, or uneven wear. Don’t forget to check the spare tire as well for proper tire pressure. If your vehicle is not equipped with a spare tire, ensure you have a quick tire sealant kit that is available at any local automotive parts store. Also ensure that you have an air pump as well as a tire iron and jack are in the vehicle should you need to change a flat tire.
Next check under the vehicle for any oil or coolant leaks. The last thing you want is for your vehicle to overheat or have engine damage midway through your journey. Also check under the hood that the oil level, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant are at the correct levels. One of the more overlooked parts is the air filter and washer fluid. A clogged air filter will cause the engine to work harder and use up more fuel than it normally would. And if you’re driving in the countryside or through mountains, it’s inevitable that a few big, juicy bugs will hit your windshield.
It’s a good habit to keep your vehicle well maintained not only to extend its life but also to prevent any unforeseen breakdowns during your trip. Before leaving for your trip, get an automotive technician to take a good look over your vehicle. Suspension, brakes, fuel system, air conditioning system, cooling system, transmission, engine; these are all areas that a good technician will look over and advise if anything needs replacing. Also because you’ll be putting a lot of miles on your vehicle, it’s a good idea to change the engine oil and filter before leaving. Old oil does not provide the same protection against friction and long sustained engine speeds as new oil would. Also engine oil is used to cool the internal parts of the engine (in addition to the coolant) but again, old oil will not do a good job of cooling the internal engine pieces.
What to bring
This is where you can go a bit overboard with your choices or can completely neglect it and regret it later on. You want to bring things with you that can be a quick fix on the side of the road without having to call a tow truck. But bring too many things and you won’t have room for the bags or the kid’s toys etc. Some of the more important items to bring are a flashlight, an extra battery for the cell phone or a charger, ensuring that the tire jack and tire iron are in the vehicle, a spare tire (if equipped) or a quick tire sealant kit, jumper cables, and a tow rope. These are items that you should always keep in your vehicle regardless of where you go. Other items that you may want to consider bringing on a long journey include a fire extinguisher, a small tool kit, a hammer, bungee cords, pliers, the vehicle’s spare key in case you get locked out of your vehicle by accident, and something to pass the long miles such as audio CDs or an audio book etc.
With proper preparation before a trip, you’ll not only be safe but also be able to enjoy the journey.