A Step By Step Guide To Checking Your Car Over Before A Road Trip

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A Step By Step Guide To The Perfect Family Road Trip

Road trips can be very exciting, whether you’re simply seeing where the road takes you with friends or you’re traveling somewhere planned with your family. However, many people neglect to do the most important thing when it comes to road trips: check over the vehicle that they’ll be traveling in. Road trips can be a fantastic experience, but not if you get out of town and realize that your tires are out of alignment, or your treads are below the legal minimum. Not only can you get into trouble, you could potentially put lives at risk. 

Here, we’re going to tell you exactly how to check your car over before a road trip so you don’t have anything to worry about: 

Step 1: Consider An Oil Change

If you know your oil has been changed recently, then you can skip this step. However, if you’re not sure when this task was last undertaken, it could be a good idea to do it before you head off on your road trip. Check your oil level, and if it doesn’t need to be changed you can simply top it up if it needs it. However, topping it up will not work if your oil needs to be changed. You should get rid of that old sludge before putting new oil in! 

Step 2: Check Your Fluids

Check the other fluid levels of your car. This includes your coolant, brake fluids, and windscreen wash. 

Step 3: Check Your Tire Pressure

If your tires are neglected, you risk severe consequences. Your tires should be looked after year round, but you should pay special attention to them before and after a road trip. The number marked on the tires is the maximum amount of pressure that tires can contain – too much, and you’ll cause a blow out. Low tire pressure on the other hand, will cause hotter tires, wasted fuel, and a longer stopping time. Make sure you know exactly what your tire pressure should be at and stick to it. 

Step 4: Check Your Tire Wear By Using A Tread Gauge

At an absolute minimum your tire tread needs to be at 1.6mm. However, it’s recommended you change your tires much earlier than this, usually around 3mm. New tires from a tire shop will usually be around 8/9 mm. Make sure your tires are safe by checking the tread regularly using a tread gauge. 

Step 5: Check Your Car’s Air Filter

If your cabin filter is worn out, the air will not be fresh inside the car. A nightmare when you’re on a road trip! You also need to make sure that there’s a fresh supply of air to the engine, so check your car’s air filter. 

Step 6: Check All Of Your Lights and Signals

All of your lights and signals must be in full working order so that you can avoid accidents. Get somebody to check them over for you while you test them inside of the car. You might also want to have some spares handy, just in case something happens while you’re on your road trip. 

Step 7: Check Over Your Car Battery

Make a note of the last time you changed your car battery. Car batteries should be changed around once every three years. You can’t usually rely on a battery that has been in use for 4 – 5 years. 

Step 8: Carry Emergency Equipment With You

Carrying emergency equipment with you on your road trip will give you peace of mind as well as have you covered in the event of an accident. You should have a spare tire, a phone charger, a flashlight, tools, a first aid kit, and potentially other items depending on where you are driving. For example, in France it is compulsory that you have a warning cone or triangle and night vests. 

Step 9: Wash Your Windows

For good visibility, wash your windows before you travel. You should also check your wipers at this stage. 

Step 10: Clean The Inside Of Your Car

You want your passengers to be comfortable and safe, so don’t neglect to clean out the inside of your car. Get rid of any rubbish ready for the road trip. 

If you have any warning lights or you’re unsure about something, it’s always a good idea to ask a professional before you head off on your road trip. You might be excited, but it isn’t worth risking your life. Everybody will have a better time knowing the car is in great condition!

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