With warm summer days just around the corner, you might be thinking it would be just the perfect time for an adventurous or relaxing road trip with your loved ones. If so, then you’re probably already considering all the things that you should pack and bring along with you. While it may be important to cross over all those supplies and necessities on your list, there is one thing that you must never forget about.
You mustn’t neglect your best friend for every road trip you’ve ever taken. Yes, we are talking about your car. It is your number one pal that you need to be able to rely on to get you to where you want to go and back safe and sound. This is why car maintenance is essential, and this not only includes preparing for the trip but also taking care of the vehicle when you return home.
Before: Check the exhaust system
One of the most important tasks when it comes to car maintenance is making sure that the exhaust system is working just fine. After all, there is a number of crucial things that depend on it, including power, fuel efficiency, venting, and the like.
Check for any strange noises. Any sound that is out of the ordinary is a red flag that something might be wrong with, let’s say, the tailpipe or manifold. And even if you don’t hear anything odd, you should still take a look, just in case.
Before: Take a look at the tires
It’s important to properly assess the shape of your tires. If the balding is fairly obvious, then they are a no-go. Such a tire won’t take your far, particularly if you’re going to driving on rough terrain. Furthermore, a tire that’s in a bad shape causes traction and can significantly impact the car’s stability if you’re planning a trip during harsher weather.
So, if a tire’s wear and tear is evident, it needs to be replaced. However, if it seems to be just alright, at least make sure that it’s got enough air for the trip.
Before: Make sure the battery’s fine
There are several culprits to be examined when your car has trouble starting. The most common one is the battery. There are two possible scenarios here.
The battery could simply be dead. You can use jumper cables to see whether this is the case. If it is, you’ve got no choice but to change it. However, it could also be fine and the real reason you’re having trouble is simply dirt that accumulated around the battery terminals. Clean the battery carefully, and you’re good to go.
After: Use a fuel stabilizer
When you come back from the road trip, in most cases you won’t be using the car as much for some time again. This is particularly the case if you live in the city, and long road trips aren’t such a common thing for you.
This would be a great time to use a fuel stabilizer. What it does is that it makes the fuel stay in crisp shape for a significantly longer period. It prevents corrosion as well.
After: Do any necessary repairs
Chances are that against all your best efforts, something went wrong during the road trip. You can never be 100% safe, so it’s possible that a part that seemed to be just fine lets you down during the ride. When you get home, you should get that part repaired or replaced right away.
There is also the most unpredictable possibility out there that everyone’s afraid of – some sort of accident. If your car got damaged, you need to look for experts for smash repairs as soon as possible.
After: Check the fluids
What you can surely expect after a road trip is a significant change in the car’s fluid levels. This is particularly the case if you’ve been traveling with a lot of luggage or a trailer. An oil change is most probably due. While you’re at it, check the brake and coolant fluid as well.
Before you head out for a road trip, it is crucial that you make sure that your car is in top shape, so that the chances for an unpleasant surprise are as low as possible. When you get back, you should do proper maintenance of your vehicle as well, making sure that everything is in order, taking care of any damages, and preparing the car for future use.
Like we’ve said in the beginning, your car is your best friend during every road trip, so treat it with the utmost respect.