How to Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip and Why You Need to Know How to do it Yourself

Road trips are some of the most fun and rewarding experiences, and whether you are taking your family, going solo, or preparing for an adventure with your entourage, you certainly want to have a road trip checked off your bucket list at some point in your life.

However, road trips require some planning and preparation, and as much as the idea might sound appealing and wild, you can’t just get up and leave your home without taking care of a few necessities first. Let’s assume that you have already determined the nature and destination of your voyage, and the only thing left to do is to make sure your car is in mint condition, ready to take on any challenge. Here are the crucial steps to preparing your car for a road trip of a lifetime.

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Complete any major repairs

From heavy-duty engine repairs to replacing the hubcap on one of your rear wheels, you need to do it all well in advance to your departure date. Be sure to schedule a thorough maintenance check-up with your mechanic at least a month before you raise sails, to allow enough time for successful repairs, and in order to fix any subsequent issues that may arise.

Check the air conditioning

No matter if you’re going on a winter adventure or if you’re headed towards a summer resort way out in the outback, your car’s AC needs to be running smoothly and without a hitch. Just imagine being stuck on the road for hours on end with nothing to cool you down under the scorching sun. Conversely, the AC can provide some much-needed heat during a winter road trip, so be sure to fix the AC no matter the time of year.

Check tyre pressure

This one isn’t important, it’s imperative. Poor tyre quality, whether they have been worn down by time and friction or if their pressure levels are low, can lead to serious issues on the road and even put your life in jeopardy.

Don’t take any chances and check your tyre quality at least a week before you leave, in order to make any changes if need be. Also, check the tyre pressure on the day of departure, both on your car and your caravan or trailer.

Inspect the brakes

What is the most important element in any roadworthy vehicle? The state and quality of its braking system. Brakes are designed to save your life, and a thorough brake check-up is a must. You can inspect and even fix the brakes yourself, although it’s a task best handled by a professional.

Check fluids

You can look at a car as you would a living organism, and conclude that it needs plenty of fluids to operate smoothly. However, it’s not just about the amount of oil and fluids in the vehicle, it’s also the state and quality of these elements that will determine the roadworthiness of your car.

Don’t leave your front lawn before checking your engine, gasoline, brakes, transmission, power steering fluid and windshield washer fluid. Always replace existing oil and fluids with new, quality Castrol oils to prevent any roadside malfunctions and promote the longevity of your vehicle.

Clean and pack evenly

Once you’re certain your car is running smoothly, it’s time to clean and scrub both the exterior and the interior, in order to eliminate any dirt and unpleasant odours that might ruin your road trip. First of all, the exterior. You need to make sure you thoroughly clean your windshields as well as all rear-view mirrors to promote safety at all times, and don’t forget to give your licence plates a good scrubbing as you don’t want to get pulled over and fined because a trooper couldn’t read them.

Secondly, be sure to scrub the seats, vacuum the floors and wipe the dashboard clean in order to remove unwanted aromas, and hang a scented ornament as well.

Lastly, you want to pack the car evenly. Every vehicle has its maximum load capacity, and if you want to ensure smooth sailing, you want to pack only the things you absolutely need, making sure the heavy loads are positioned at the front of the trunk. Distribute the lighter loads evenly on the sides.

Preparing for a road trip is a fun and rewarding experience, and if you get it just right and plan ahead, you will easily pave the road for an adventure of a lifetime!

Samantha Olivier

Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Twitter or in a tea shop.

1 Comment
  1. Thanks for the tips. I am a travel freak, travel a lot.your tips are really helpful.Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.People often have a theme that they base their worldly travels on, but how about a mental mantra for your travel? Out of a cheerleading event that consisted of our family shouting supportive words at our daughter who was attempting to kill a rather monstrous spider that the rest of us were too chicken to get close to, came this great quote, “If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!”

    This quote came back to haunt me when on vacation in Seattle. I thought it would be a great idea to take the kids on the Seattle Great Wheel, the ferris wheel overlooking the ocean, but as we approached it, I realized how high it went and immediately panicked! Just as I had decided to put the kids on it on their own, my daughter says, “Come on dad…If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!” What could I do at that point?! She was telling me to stop thinking and creating more fear about the situation and just get on the thing

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