Road trips are a great way to take the whole family along on vacation. The journey is just as important as the destination, and whether you’re just driving a few miles away or are setting off on a cross-country road trip, it’s important to take care of your car when traveling to stay safe and have a good time.
Here are a few tips on how to take care of your vehicle when traveling long distance:
Check Your Lights
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Before you set out on your trip, make sure to check all your lights to make sure they’re working. This includes your headlights, high beams, turn signals, and the lights in the interior of the car. Doing a light check is easy. Simply have a friend or family member walk around the car as you test all the lights. Then, if you need any replaced, try to do it yourself or go to your local mechanic.
Check Your Tires
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When checking your tires before traveling long distance, check the air pressure, tire tread, rotation, and alignment.
Tire Tread – Tires show their age by getting thinner and thinner and an easy way to check your tread before heading on a long distance trip is to do the “Penny Test.” Simply put a penny in your tire upside down and if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.
Tire Pressure – Checking the tire pressure on your vehicle will not only keep you safe, but will help you save money on gas, too. Your car should have a chart that has the recommended tire pressure on the driver side door. Most local gas stations have free air that you can use.
Tire Rotation – Before heading out on your trip, make sure to rotate your tires because this helps extend their life. Most mechanics recommend rotating your tires every 5,000 miles or six months, but consult your car’s manual for an exact estimate.
Tire Alignment – Like rotating your tires, making sure your alignment is in check will keep you safe on the road. When your alignment is off, your car doesn’t drive straight. Obviously, you want your car to track well, so check your alignment before your long-distance road trip.
Test Your Brakes
When traveling a long distance, you want to make sure your brakes are still going strong. Throughout your trip, test your brakes to make sure everything is running smoothly. Before you leave, do the ABC test:
ABC Test – ABC stands for accelerator, brakes, and clutch. Before you head out, make sure your engine sounds right, your steering wheel doesn’t stick, your brakes are working well, and your clutch is responding.
If you notice something is up, don’t wait – see a mechanic before you go!
Last but not least, take care of repairs before you hit the road to save yourself time and money on your long-distance trip. Make sure to see a qualified mechanic that only uses genuine auto parts for any repairs because this will help your car run as well as it can. Genuine auto parts, compared to third-party ones, are ideal for car maintenance.
Taking care of your vehicle when traveling long distance is crucial to a safe and fun trip!