Going on a long-distance road trip can be nerve wracking. There is a lot of things that can go wrong while out on the road, and it’s impossible to predict and plan for every possible scenario. So, whether you rent a vehicle or take your own out on the road, here are five things to check on your car before hitting the road.
The fluid level under your hood may be the most important thing you check before heading out on the road. You will want to check the coolant, oil, and brake fluid levels. Low coolant can cause your engine to overheat on a long trip. Low brake and oil levels can cause all kinds of problems that can ruin your car and your trip. Seeing low fluid levels may also be a good indicator of a leak that may need to be fixed prior to your trip.
2. Brake pads
Brake pads are what slows down and stops your tires from moving. Everyday use wears down your brake pads. It is important to check the thickness of your brake pads before heading out. One good indicator that you need new pads is if the brakes make a screeching sound when used.
There are a few important things to check your tires for before your road trip. You will want to check your tire pressure, an over-inflated tire will cause your tire to wear down wrong, and an under-inflated can bring down your gas mileage and put you at risk of a flat. Also check the treads around the tire, worn down treads make it more dangerous to drive your car in wet and slippery conditions, and put you at risk of a blowout.
4. Wiper blades
Your wiper blades are one of the most important tools on your car to help with your vision. Worn down wiper blades can cause streaking that will negatively affect your ability to see out your front windshield. Impaired vision is always dangerous on the road, especially on a long road trip. If your wiper blades are worn down, you should replace them before beginning your trip.
5. Spare tire
This is a simple, but essential check. Flat tires happen on the road and you will be stuck on the side of the road for hours waiting for an expensive tow without a spare tire. Always check your spare tire and spare kit before leaving. Your spare tire should be in good shape, and there should a jack and lug wrench with it.
So whether your car is up to the task of a road trip, or you rent a vehicle, make sure to be vigilant about the condition of your car. And take time to check these five essential car parts.