Preparing your car for a long trip is a difficult task since you’re put in an awkward starting position. Sure, your car may seem flawless or just display some minor problems but it is the urban commute and grocery runs that we’re talking about. How will this vehicle act on an unknown terrain and long-distance trips? You simply have no idea. In order not to have it fail and leave you stranded somewhere in the open, you need to prepare it for this endeavor. Here are the top six tips that should help you prepare your vehicle for the task ahead.
1. Research of the route
The beauty of a long trip lies in the fact that you’re heading out into the unknown. However, this is also quite risky. You see, one of the biggest problems when it comes to not knowing the route is the fact that you’re exposing yourself to hazards. Researching the route will not rob you of any meaningful road trip experience.
Looking at the line on the map is not exactly the same as actually enjoying the beauty of the road. So, what have you got to lose? By learning of the road conditions, you can prepare for the trip a lot better.
2. Basic DIY check-up
One other thing that a lot of people tend to underestimate is the importance of a basic DIY check-up. What can you check at home? First, you can do some check-ups on the tires of your vehicle. If they’re old and the tread is worn out, you don’t want to risk using them during your long-distance trip. You can also take this chance and rotate your tires. Other than this, keep in mind that you should check the fluids. The engine oil, brake oil, windshield fluid and radiator fluid are just some of the things you can easily check and replace at home. Replacing your spark plugs and windshield blades are additional tasks you can go for.
3. Take it to a mechanic
While there are many things you can do on your own in order to prepare the vehicle for this journey, the truth is that you really can’t check everything on your own. Sometimes, you lack the proper hardware or knowledge to perform a proper check-up. So, you should take the vehicle to a mechanic instead. Let them know that you’re taking the vehicle on a long-distance trip and, if you already have your mind set on a specific route, tell them where you’re going. This might give them more insight into how you plan to use the vehicle and it will point them towards some critical points of interest.
4. Performance upgrades
If you ever had a dream of improving the performance of your vehicle, now is the time to do so. You see, looking up high-end mufflers is always a good idea but it is an upgrade that you will best feel during a long-distance journey. You see, during a 20-minute urban commute, it’s highly questionable just how much of this upgrade you will be able to sense. The noise, the stop-and-go driving, as well as numerous other disturbances will stop you from fully sensing just how big of an issue this actually is. On a long-distance trip, you will finally be able to enjoy your work.
5. Prepare a repair kit
In order to make your vehicle prepared for everything that lies ahead, you need to outfit its trunk with a decent repair kit. First of all, you need a thick towing rope, seeing as how this can be life-saving in some situations. Second, you may need some bungee cords and an electric charger wire. Other than this, you need a reliable set of screwdrivers and wrenches, as well as a good hammer. A flashlight is mandatory since you never know whether you’ll have to make some of these repairs in the middle of the night. All of these items are designed to be compact so that they can be packed a lot easier.
The last thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that you need to start with these preparations in time. You don’t want to rush your mechanic, leave out a crucial item from the toolbox, or go on the journey underprepared. You will seldom have to depart so quickly, which means that the only reason for failing to do the proper research might be your aptitude for procrastination. Don’t allow this to become a major obstacle in your path.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate traveler. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.