Going on a road trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is one of the best ways to unwind from your daily routine. If you believe that it’s not about the destination but the journey, then road trips are the right option for you.
Apart from self-development and empowerment, it leads a person to create a range of lifetime memories. The idea of dropping everything, getting in your car, and setting off on a new adventure is an amazing idea for the ultimate vacation. Road trips allow us to discover places that we never knew existed.
However, you need to ensure that your vehicle is in perfect condition before going on a road trip. Here, we will be looking at some of the most common things that you need to check in your car before hitting the road.
Check Fluid Levels
The first important step is to ensure that you check and properly maintain your car’s fluids before embarking on any long journey like the road trip you are planning.
Your car’s engine is like a living thing where engine oil acts as the blood lubricating the moving parts within the body, hence preventing friction-causing injuries. Use a dipstick and make sure that your car’s engine oil levels are okay before your road trip.
The transmission fluid helps with smooth gear shifting and also prevents heat build-up in the transmission system. On the other hand, if the fluid is colored or smells burnt, it could mean a time for change should come.
Your car’s braking system will malfunction if you do not have some brake fluid. Fill the brake fluid reservoir up to its recommended level.
Inspect Belts And Hoses
Examining belts and hoses is important for your car routine and essential before starting a driving tour. These are important ingredients that act as a key in the running of different machines in your car.
Power is transmitted via belts to the alternator, water pump, and air conditioner. In the long run, the belts may deteriorate, crack, and begin to fray at their edges.
Make sure you conduct a visual inspection of the drive belts before traveling and also ensure that they are in good condition or not damaged in any way and have proper tension. You can also visit any reputed car repair in Houston to get your belts and hoses inspected.
A belt might be loose or even damaged, which could cause an overheated engine, issues with the battery, and power steer failure.
Check If The Lights Are Working Properly
Before going on a road trip, you need to make sure that all the interior and exterior lights on your vehicle are working efficiently.
Make sure you turn on your low and high beams headlight for proper confirmation. Wash the headlight in case of any dirt, and consider replacing broken or dim lights.
These include properly aligned headlights and bright ones if one is driving at night or during bad weather.
Make sure that your taillights work properly, have another person look at the back of your car, and then apply the brakes as well as blinkers. See if all the bulbs light properly.
Check The Tires
Road trips often involve uneven and slippery roads, so your tires should be in perfect condition to maintain optimal grip and traction. You can physically inspect the tires to check for any damages.
There are indicators on the tire that tell about the tread depth. You need to ensure that the treads are above the indicator lines. If the indicator line and tread depth are at the same level, you must replace your tires.
Check The Battery Health
The battery is the lifeline for your car’s electrical system by supplying initial power for the starting of the engine. Furthermore, when the engine is switched off, it transmits electricity to many electrical devices, including lights, radio, and air conditioning.
The initial start of the engine, power to electrical systems, and optimal overall performance of the car depend on the health of your battery. First, make a visual check on the battery terminals with the presence of corrosion. Corrosion will reduce current flow and the battery’s capacity to deliver power.
Check The Air Filter
The air filter is a small but important component of your engine. It filters any dust and debris before air reaches the combustion chamber. Over time, the air filter will be choked and needs to be replaced.
So, you need to check whether the air filter is working fine or choked. If it’s visibly dusty, you need to replace it so fuel can burn properly in the engine.
Engine Cooling System
Check the coolant level and ensure that it’s not below the minimum mark. You also need to check if the radiator fan is working properly; otherwise, the engine will overheat.
If your car drifts towards the right or left side when going on a straight road, your alignment is off, and you need to get wheel alignment before going on a road trip.
Some other signs of bad alignment include steering wheel vibrations and loss of control over the vehicle.