Getting Your Car Ready for A Road Trip

Published: August 31, 2016 | Updated: July 3, 2020 | Posted by: Anton | Lifestyle

thumbs up for well-conditioned car
If you’re planning to go on a road trip soon, you’re going to need to make sure that your car is in excellent shape. If there’s one thing that could definitely spoil a road trip, it’s car troubles. That, and maybe people flaking out at the last minute.

When you’re getting your car ready for a road trip, there are more than a few things that need to get checked, and it’s ideal to get this all done in a week or two before your trip. If it’s the first time you’re driving to the place, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with routes, or grab Waze and plot out the best possible way to get there.

When it comes to the car though, here’s a quick rundown of things you need to check.


Odds are you’re up to date on all your car insurance covers at this time, but it never hurts to get a conversation in with your provider to double-check your covers and if you feel the need to adjust on certain aspects of it, such as your covers for weather-related problems.
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Exterior and Interior

If you’ve been letting your car care slip, now might be a good time to pick it up. Check your car’s exterior for any dents or scratches that might need a little care – head for the car wash, or make a day of it for yourself. If there aren’t any pressing issues, you can hold off the wash until a few days before the trip itself.

Chances are you might have family members who are dust sensitive, so grab a hand vacuum and give your car’s interiors a deep clean. Get rid of all the detritus in your car, and replace the things you’ve always been meaning to but never had the time to deal with (read: got too lazy to deal with).

The engine

This is one of the areas that definitely require more attention. It’ll be cheaper to deal with this now than having to call a tow truck and potentially postponing your trip altogether.

The coolant is one of the first things you’ll want to deal with. If you smell something sweet while the car is warm and running (that isn’t anything confectionary), you’ll want to take your car in to check for a coolant leak. While you’re at it, get an oil change.

If you’re already taking your car in for a check-up, have them take a look at your car’s belt, hoses, and timing belt. You don’t want your engine overheating in the middle of the trip. Your car’s battery should also be on the checklist.

Brakes and tires

A trip to your preferred car maintenance service center merits having them look at your brakes, and replacing the brake fluid and the pads if necessary.

Your car’s tires should be checked for air pressure, wear, and treads. Replace any tires that may already be too worn to decrease the odds of blowout while on the road. It’ll also do to check on your spare or spares – because it never hurts to have more than one spare.

Final thoughts

If you’ve gone through this checklist early enough, then you should be good and ready for your road trip. It’ll be a good idea to keep all luggage lower than the back seats of the car if you’re driving an SUV to prevent them becoming projectiles in case of sudden stops.

It’ll also be to your advantage to have a roadside survival kit and travel essentials just in case. Don’t forget to keep a spare set of keys as well. Car trouble is one of the few things that can spoil a road trip, if you’ve gone through this checklist early enough, then you should be good and ready for just about anything.

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