|Image Source: rawhide.org|
Although no one can argue that going on a road trip provides you with a completely new travel experience, going out there underprepared can be incredibly dangerous, not to mention completely irresponsible. In order to minimize the odds of something bad happening on the road, what you need to do is stock up properly, prepare your itinerary ahead of time and, most importantly, prepare your vehicle for what lies ahead. Here is a brief car maintenance checklist you might want to consult before heading out.
1. Check your fluid levels
The first thing you want to do is check the fluid levels in your vehicle. Oil ought to be changed every 10,000 or even 5,000 miles but its choice may depend on the weather conditions you might meet ahead. You see, full synthetic oil is much better for extremely low temperatures, as well as oil with high viscosity. As you can see, choosing the right oil for your car is not such an easy job after all. Furthermore, to prepare for extremely high or low temperatures, you might also want to consider adding some antifreeze or coolant.
2. Inspect your tires
The next inspection you might want to attend to is that of your tires. You can start with a basic visual inspection and check the alignment and rotation. A misalignment here could cause a rapid and uneven tear, which might cause a trouble on a longer voyage. Aside from this, you also want to make sure that all your tires are properly pressurized. Seeing as how this is a common inspection, it might even be worth your while to purchase a digital tire gauge and learn how to use it. One last thing, remember to check the pressure in your spare tires, as well. You would be surprised just how many people completely forget to do so and come to regret it later on.
3. Look under the hood
Another thing you want is to check the situation under the hood. Even a layman can see if the battery terminals are clean and if the drive belt looks worn out, glazed or even cracked. According to experts behind the Epping car service station, the break of a timing belt might have much more serious repercussions than simply getting stranded. There is a serious risk that such an unfortunate occurrence could cause a major engine damage which could lead to a preventable disaster. Therefore, if you are not 100 percent sure about your ability to recognize this particular problem it might be for the best to ask for a professional help.
4. Brake system
Finally, the most important thing you absolutely must check before heading out is your brake system. Failure to do so might result in dire consequences, which is why you should probably make this inspection your top priority. You can start with checking brake fluids. The first step towards making this work lies in checking the color in the brake reservoir of the fluid and make sure it is completely full. The safest course of action would probably be to just flush the fluid that is inside and replace it entirely prior to setting out.
Of course, there are many other things you might want to inspect before you head out, as well. For instance, you need to check the expiry dates on some perishable items in your first aid kit, just to make sure everything is up to date. Furthermore, you always want to have a complete toolset and an extra set of bulbs for your car’s light. Even if you aren’t an expert mechanic, there are simply some skills you must possess if you are to head out on the open road all by yourself (figuratively speaking). Therefore, in order to make your future road trip as safe as possible, you might need as much preparation as your car.