Taking a road trip can be a great way for you to spend some quality time with the people you love, and get to know an area inside and out. However, if you aren’t driving a reliable car during your trip, you may experience more adventure — and misfortune — than you bargained for.
To ensure you’re able to safely get from point A to point B during your vacation, here are three ways you should prepare your car for an upcoming road trip.
Check All Your Fluids
The last thing you want when going on a road trip is for your car not to start or to quit functioning the way it should. One way you can ensure that this doesn’t happen on the road is to check all your fluids before you leave.
According to Alex Leanse, a contributor to Popular Mechanics, the fluids you should check are your oil, brake fluid, radiator fluid, power steering, transmission, and windshield wiper fluid. When any one of these is low or completely empty, your car won’t be able to function the way it should, which can put you and everyone else in danger.
If you don’t know how to check these fluid levels, take your car to a mechanic who can inspect them for you before you hit the road.
Take a Look at Your Tires and Brakes
To keep you and your vehicle operating safely on the road, you want to make sure that your tires and brakes are working properly. According to MentalFloss.com, you should check your tires for things like air pressure, tread, and punctures before you hit the road. If you notice anything that might be amiss, take your vehicle in to a shop and see about getting repairs or replacements for your tires.
Also, if your brakes aren’t working, you won’t be able to stop your car the way you should. So if you notice that your vehicle is getting harder to stop or that the pedal feels as if it’s pushing into something soft, you’ll want to get your brakes checked out before you leave.
Load Your Gear Correctly
Once you feel your car is ready to head out on your road trip, it’s time for you to ensure that you’ve loaded it the right way. Just as it’s important to know what’s going on with the inner workings of your car, you also have to get the cargo of your car to be arranged as safely as possible.
To do this, Aaron Gold, a contributor to ThoughtCo.com, advises that you load your gear so the weight is low in the car and evenly dispersed throughout. If you do this, you’ll make your car easier to handle as well as protect anyone inside in the event that you get in a collision, because any object in the vehicle becomes a projectile during a crash.
If you’re taking a road trip soon, heed the tips discussed above to help ensure your car is as safe as it can be for your journey.