Four Tips for Your Next Road Trip

If you’re planning a long road trip this holiday season, make sure your car is prepared for the journey. You don’t want to make it halfway to your destination and start having car trouble. Even if you have a new car, it’s important to do a few routine checks before you head out. Here are 4 tips to help you ensure your car is ready for a road trip.

1. Check the Engine Oil

The first thing you want to do is check to that your car has enough oil and isn’t due for an oil change. If you are close to the manufacturer-recommended limit, you’ll need to get an oil change before you leave. This isn’t something you want to neglect. Driving a car without proper oil content, is a good way to ruin more than just your road trip!

2. Check the Tire Pressure and Tread

It's important to always check tire pressure before heading out on a long trip. Driving on tires with improper inflation pressure is dangerous and can cause tire damage as well as affect the vehicle's ride, handling and fuel economy. When you check to see how much pressure your tires should have, check the label on the inside of the drivers door to find the recommended tire pressure. Next, look at the condition & tread of your tires. If they have seen better days, it’s always a good idea to get new ones before a road trip. Your tires are only going to get worse with travel. Before you go, make sure your spare is properly inflated and your jack is not defective.

3. Check the Brakes

As brake fluid ages it turns to a rusty color and begins rusting your brake components. When you check the brake fluid in your car, make sure it is topped to the full mark, and check the color. If your brake fluid hasn’t been flushed in two or three years, you should get it done before you leave. Your brake pads should have 1/4 of an inch of pad or more.

4. Check the Lights

If you’re on a road trip, there’s a good chance that you’ll be doing some driving at night or in bad weather. If that’s the case, you’ll want to check your car lights to make sure they are all working correctly - front & back. You also want to make sure that your indicators and brake lights are operational as well. Ensure you know what the lights on your dashboard mean.