This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerCarCare #CollectiveBias
Road trips can be a lot of fun when properly planned. Not only are they a great way to bond with your family, they allow you to actually enjoy each and every second of your vacation… including the transit. When traveling other ways you spend a lot of your time getting from point a to point b. A large portion of the trip is spent in either cooped up on a plane or similar form of transition, which is far from comfortable regardless of how many miles you’ve racked up or points you have saved.
With a road trip, the moment you pull off onto the road the adventure has begun! You can plan out a structured trip, or just go with the flow. Regardless of your traveling style, one thing remains consistent: preparation can make or break the entire experience. There are two things you don’t want to deal with when going on a road trip: running out of money (sorry, I can’t help you with that), and car issues!
Most car issues that could arise when traveling could have been prevented with a little maintenance before hitting the road. There are a few things you can take care of before heading out, that will make it much less likely for you to have issues on the road.
Follow this essential road trip car maintenance checklist before you leave for your next trip:
Change the Oil and Check Fluids
Your oil should generally be changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles. You may want to consider getting it done sooner if you will be on the road for many miles on your trip. Your car will be driving for much longer than it’s likely used to, and fluids will keep it from overheating.
Ensure that all of your lights are working properly. Be sure to include your high beams in this check, as you may need them on the road at night.
Air Conditioner Checkup
If it’s summer, be sure to get your air conditioner checked before leaving on a road trip. This is something that should be done once a year, to ensure that you aren’t low on freon or dealing with any other issues that could cause your air to go out. I’ve dealt with the air conditioner going out while in a car with children during the hot summer, and it’s no fun.
Change The Air Filter
FRAM recommends ou change your air filters annually or every 12,000 (follow recommended change intervals as noted in your vehicle owner’s manual). You air filter is your engine’s first line of defense. Changing your air filter actually helps with decreased acceleration, horsepower, and overall engine performance.
I must admit that I had no idea how to change a filter, but it turned out to be quite easy. We just grabbed A FRAM Extra Guard Air Filter from Walmart and got to work.
The entire job required a screwdriver and about 5 minutes.We took off our existing air filter by disconnecting the clamps from the air intake. Once the clamps are removed you can easily remove the old filter. Ours was soo dirty!
I’m really glad we changed it before your upcoming road trip. Dirty air filters restrict airflow, which can contribute to decreased acceleration horsepower, and reduced overall performance. A clean air filter improves air flow and prevents dirt and dust from entering and damaging your engine.
Once your old filter is removed, just insert the one and connect the clamps back on. Easy as that, you’ve installed a brand new air filter!
Your owners manual should tell you the exact pressure that your tire should be, and you need to ensure that each one is exactly that. Keep an eye out for any tears or bulges in the sidewalls of tires. Don’t forget to check your spare tire as well, and make sure you have a jack and all the supplies you need to change a tire if necessary. Check the thread on your tires and make sure it isn’t getting low. If it is, replace the tire. It isn’t worth putting your family at risk by driving on tires that are unsafe.
Check that your brake pads and rotors are in good shape, and that your brakes are functioning properly. If in doubt, get them changed.
Check Wipers and Wiper Fluid
Check your windshield wipers and fluids to ensure that wipers work properly and fluids are filled.
Follow these tips and the travel portion of your road trip should be smooth sailing! Be sure to come back to follow along on my family’s road trips this summer!