To some… there is nothing like the open road. The adventure of going to new places you’ve never been, and seeing vast scenic horizons. Weather you have your favorite playlist playing, or just listening to the sound of the road. You can be spontaneous, or have a strict itinerary. Either way you like it… don’t forget to do the most important and often overlooked thing.
Check your vehicle, and prepare it for your trip. You want to have an adventure, but not the kind that leaves you stranded on the side of the road. Here are a few basic things you can do to make sure your vehicle is up to the journey. These are easy and can save you from a major headache later. (Make sure to use your owner’s manual, or take your vehicle to a certified technician.)
- Check under the hood, and make sure all your fluids are at their proper levels.
- Oil: You may consider changing your oil. Even if it’s not due, oil is cheap compared to a tow bill and or a major repair.
- Brake Fluid: Surprisingly, this is the most overlooked fluid in your vehicle. Without it you can’t stop!
- Antifreeze: This fluid keeps your vehicle from overheating. Do not use water in your radiator. Water can freeze in colder climates causing damage to your vehicle. (If you check the radiator fluid on your own, make sure the engine is cool.)
- Automatic transmission fluid: Too little transmission fluid can cause major damage due to excessive heat on long rides.
- Windshield washer fluid: The ability to clean your windshield while driving is essential to maintain visibility.
- Check your tires.
- Tire pressure. Make sure your tire pressures are inflated to your vehicle specs. This will help with getting better gas mileage, and prevent improper tire ware. Tires can deflate over time, especially during changes in weather/temperature. Don’t forget the
- Tread depth. Not having enough tread on your tires will increase your stopping distance. It will also give you poor handling in bad weather. Rotate, or replace your tires if needed. It’s better than a blowout.
- Other safety equipment to check, and make sure they work.
- Head lights
- Turn signals
- Brake lights
- Windshield Whippers
You want to be able to communicate with your fellow drivers. Properly functioning equipment is essential for seeing, and being seen.
There are a lot of other things you can check to make sure your vehicle is ready for the open road. Your goal is to make it to your destination safely.
Here are a few other resources that may help you have a successful trip.
*This article is intended to be informational only and should not be considered professional advice. Please consult a professional when addressing any safety concerns regarding your vehicle.