If you are heading out with your family on a road trip, you better make sure that you check your car over first. No one wants to be stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck, especially in bad weather. There are 5 things that everybody should check on their car before they set out on a road trip.
Check the car for fluid leaks
Small fluid leaks can easily turn into big gushers once you leave town. These repairs can be costly and can cause you to be stranded on the side of the road. Handling these small fluid leaks before you go on a road trip can help ensure the safety of everyone in the car. Check the most common sources of leaks such as the radiator, heater and radiator hoses, power steering hoses, and the engine oil pan. If you do find a fluid leak, note the color and trace the fluids back the source and get them fixed before you leave on your road trip.
Check the tire pressure in all the tires
Low air pressure can cause your car to use more gas, wear faster on the tires and run hotter. Hot tires are more prone to blowouts during extended highway driving. The last thing that you want to experience on your road trip is a tire blowout in your car. Make sure that you check the air pressure in all of the tires on the car and also on the spare tire. Look for the correct air pressure on the sticker that is located on the driver’s door. If that sticker is missing from the door of your car, then consult your owner’s manual.
Check and top off all fluids for the car
With the car engine off, check the power steering fluid, the brake fluid, coolant, windshield wiper fluid and the engine oil. Check your owner’s manual on how to check the transmission and the other fluids for your specific car. Running out of one of these fluids while on a road trip can cause you to stall your car, or over-heat.
Check the condition of all the belts on the car
Broken belts are one of the most common reasons for roadside assistance calls. You should easily be able to find replacement belts at your local auto store. It’s much easier to replace a belt on your car when you are in your own garage then having to find a place out on your road trip after your car has broken down on the side of the road. Before leaving for your road trip, replace any belts that are cracked or worn down.
Check all exterior lights on the car
This is one of the easiest things to check on your car before a road trip, but it is commonly forgotten. Any information on light bulb replacements and how to replace them can be found in the car’s owner manual. Turn the key to the accessories position and check the turn signals, brake lights, high beams, running lights, and backup lights on both the front and back of the car. The easiest way to do this is either with another person watching or in your garage with the door shut so you can see the reflections against the walls.