The weather is great, kids are out of school, and adults need a relaxing getaway from the daily grind. Summer road trips can be an excellent way to spend a summer vacation. However, you might be wondering how to prep your car for a road trip to ensure everything goes smoothly. As you consider what to pack and how to prepare for your vacation, be sure to add vehicle maintenance to your road trip essentials.
A vehicle breakdown while on a road trip could severely derail your vacation plans, leave you stranded, and even cause an auto accident. Preparation and car maintenance are key to ensuring you make it to your destination safely and within a reasonable timeframe.
To help you prepare for your travels, here’s a list of important auto maintenance you shouldn’t skip or put off this summer.
How to Prep Your Car for a Road Trip
Car maintenance and road trip preparation do not have to be complicated. And honestly, most of the maintenance you do before a road trip you would need regardless of whether you’re taking a trip. Here are the 10 things you should do to prep your car for a road trip.
- Get an oil change and make sure to change the oil filter as well.
- While you’re getting your oil changed, rotate your tires to prevent severe wear on any one tire that could lead to a blowout.
- Have your mechanic check your air filter and cabin air filter to ensure a comfortable experience.
- Change your spark plugs to avoid losing crucial functions of your car or being stuck on the side of the road.
- Take a look at your spare tire and make sure it’s inflated just in case you end up needing it.
- Check your tire pressure. Maintaining the recommended tire pressure can mean better efficiency and gas mileage, as well as reducing the chances of tire blowouts.
- If your tires are worn out, replace your tires preventatively to avoid getting stuck on the side of the road.
- Top off all fluids, including wiper fluid, brake fluid, oil, power steering fluid, etc.
- Flush your radiator if you haven’t done so within a reasonable timeframe.
- Have a mechanic give your car a full review before you hit the road for your trip and complete any recommended preventative maintenance.
Road Trip Essentials
As you make a packing list for your trip, be sure these items are on that list. They can help ensure you have a more enjoyable and safer road trip.
- A safe car top carrier. Car top carriers can provide extra storage space for all your belongings, but they also present a hazard. Failure to secure your belongings safely could result in an accident that you would be liable for. If you’re planning on picking up a new model, review our list of tips for purchasing safe car top carriers.
- Sunglasses to prevent glare and bright light from affecting your ability to see the road clearly.
- Garbage bags to collect loose trash throughout the trip to reduce the stress of cleaning your vehicle during and after your vacation.
- Tire iron and car jack in case of a flat tire.
- Spare towels to clean up spills, wash your windshield, or have a more comfortable place to change a tire, if needed.
- A fire extinguisher just in case.
- A spare car key that you stash in your wallet or something else that you keep close to you at all times. Some car keys are small enough to fit in a smartphone case or other essential item.
- Your car owner’s manual in case you need to complete unexpected maintenance or begin to diagnose an issue.
- A screwdriver and wrench kit that contains common sizes you might need for car maintenance.
- Bungee cords that can help you secure your belongings as well as complete a variety of other activities during your travels.
Your packing list for your time at your destination is probably far more important to you. After all, you’ve been looking forward to this trip and some relaxing time away. That’s perfectly understandable—but be sure you have the necessary safety precautions in place before you hit the road, or your relaxing trip could encounter some serious surprises!
Choosing a Car Accident Attorney
Even with the best maintenance and preparation, you might find yourself involved in a car accident, through some or no fault of your own. If you’ve been involved in an accident and you or your family members sustained injuries, we’ll be there to help you work through the aftermath.
At Goldman & Daszkal, our Florida car accident attorneys will work with you to build a strong case and secure compensation for your damages. While we certainly hope your road trip is accident-free and everything you’ve planned, you can count on us just in case it isn’t. Contact us today for a free consultation.