Are you planning to take a long drive soon, either for practical or vacation purposes? You certainly don’t want a major car problem occurring while you’re on the barren stretches of a rural freeway or at the top of a windy mountain pass. Don’t forget to have your car taken care of before you pack your bags and load up on snacks for the drive.
#1 Have All the Fluids Checked
The best way to do this is to get your oil changed and let the professionals check all your other fluid levels. If something is low, have them replace or refill it. For the more DIY-inclined, be sure to check the engine oil, coolant, transmission and brake fluids, as well as the power steering fluids. If you’re unsure of the exact locations of these, be sure to check your owner’s manual.
#2 Check Your Car’s Cooling System
If you’re planning on going through hot and hilly terrain it’s pertinent that your car’s cooling system is up to par. Going through mountains and canyons in extreme heat can really wreak havoc on your car’s ability to stay cool, and you don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road when it’s 110 degrees out!
#3 Make Your Car Comfortable
You’re going to be spending quite a few hours in your car, so why not make it as comfortable as possible? Here are a few simple tricks to make your four-wheeled home as tolerable as possible:
- Use a cereal container as a trash can. This will fit underneath your seat for easy access and keeping the interior of your car free of clutter.
- Bring shower caddies for on-the-go dining, especially if you’re traveling with kids. The caddy will easily hold drinks and food without spilling all over the car.
- Instead of packing in cumbersome suitcases, use plastic storage containers with multiple drawers for easy unloading and organization.
- Hang a shoe organizer on the back of the seat for all of your road trip essentials.
- Call ahead to motor inns for reservations so you’re not left stranded in the middle of the night with nowhere to stay. Remember that motels fill up quickly during peak travel seasons!
#4 Check Your Tire Changing Kit
Make sure everything you need to change a tire is in your truck, placed for easy access. Keep your trunk clear of clutter so you’re not scattering all of your belongings on the side of the highway. Keep a laminated print out in with the spare tire in case you need a reminder on how to properly change the tire. A headlamp is good to have tucked away, too, just in case your tire decides to go flat when it’s dark outside.
#5 Keep Track of Your Gear
After a few days on the road, you’ll notice you begin to lose everything: keys, phone chargers, maybe even your phone. Purchase small, sticky gadget pads and put them around your car to keep track of things like your spare key, sunglasses, or pens.
#6 Be Prepared for Toll Roads
Toll roads aren’t the most ideal routes, but if you’re in a hurry, they can really save you some time. Don’t worry about having to stop at an ATM for some cash to get through the tolls. Instead, use an empty plastic gum container and fill it up before you leave with quarters and dollar bills.
Don’t leave your travel experience to chance—take care of all of your car’s needs so you’re not left high and dry in the middle of your cross-country trip.
Informational Credit to Best Canadian Motor Inns