Preparing Your Car for a Road Trip

July 27, 2020

Who does not like weekend road trips?

Long road trips with family, friends or someone special is a fun and exciting adventure. But the fun and excitement could end if your car broke in the middle of nowhere.

So, it’s essential to have your car road-ready before travel.

Here are ways to prepare your car for a road trip:

Check the fluids.

There are six essential fluids that you need to check to ensure the condition of your car before your trip. It includes checking the engine oil level, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid and the coolant.

The lifeblood of your car is the fluid. Without checking it properly, your vehicle will be inefficient. Worst case scenario – it may cause an accident!

Important: Make sure the coolant is working as low coolant level may lead to overheating which can damage the engine.

Check the tyres.

If fluids are the lifeblood of the car, the tyres are its paramount to safety, fuel efficiency and comfort.

Underinflated tyres use up too much gas, and overinflated tyres make the ride even worse. Make sure to check the tyre pressure before travelling for safety and tyre longevity.

Important: Do the penny test to check the condition of the tyres. If it looks pretty bad, get a replacement tyre before the trip.

Check the components before hitting the road.

Air filters, brake pads, light and belt are some of the few components that you need to check before your road trip.

Replace the brake pads if it makes too much noise. Make sure the air filter is free from dust to avoid clogging. Clogged air filters may affect engine performance. Do a bulb test to make sure all the lights are working.

Important: Replace loose belt!

Clean inside and out.

It’s unpleasant to stay inside the car if it’s unkempt, especially if you’re going for a long trip. Cleaning the interior of the vehicle should be your priority before you hit the road.

The last thing that you want to worry about is the grime and stains on your car seats. Also, don’t forget to give the exterior a good wash before leaving.

Important: Disinfect the surfaces that frequently come in contact with people such as handles, seats, dashboard controls and storage areas before and after you hit the road.

Load up!

It is convenient to put your stuff on the roof to maximise the space inside the car.

On the other hand, anything on the roof affects km/l performance and may also create wind noise and garage issues.

Important: Consult a professional to get the best advice for car top carrier.

Plan ahead.

Renew all your documents if needed. Pack the essentials such as documents and IDs. Create a checklist to avoid overlooking things.

It is essential to pack road maps for emergencies, spare phone chargers, adaptors, hotel information and travel snacks.

Important: Make sure your emergency tool kit is up to date.

Your basic tool kit should include the following:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wooden jack base (just a square piece of wood to put the jack on if the ground is soft)
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Electrical tape
  • Jack and pump
  • Tow rope
  • Socket set
  • Tyre repair outfit with a valve key

Here’s a car checklist that can guide you further:

  • The tyres should be properly inflated, and the tread should be enough.
  • There should be enough fuel, radiator and coolant.
  • Make sure the windscreen is clean, and the wipers and washers are working.
  • Check the spare wheel.
  • Check for visible leaks.
  • The lights and indicators should be working.
  • Make sure you have a spare key.

There are other things to check. If you think we have missed one, please feel free to comment below!

Bonus Tip:

Even if you think that your car is efficient and reliable, you still need to get a mechanic to conduct an inspection.

The mechanic will perform a safety inspection to ensure the condition of your car while on the road.

It would be best to take the car to the mechanic one week before the road trip.

In addition…

  • Invest in GPS to help navigate to your destination. You may not have mobile reception the whole way to download maps – especially in Western Australia!
  • Make sure your car-related documents are inside the glove box.

Final Word

Car check is essential before travel as it assures you with a smooth ride and brings you to your destination safely.

It is essential to check the condition of your car before setting off to avoid problems while on a road trip.

So, make time to check your vehicle before setting off for a road trip.

And get a mechanic to inspect the car before leaving!

Happy road trip, be safe and enjoy!