Going on a road trip can be a rewarding and reinvigorating experience. Before you go, however, there are a number of things you need to do to prepare. Mainly, you need to prep your car for the long and rather grueling trip. If your car is mainly used for driving to and from work or school, then it will require some hefty preparation before hitting the long road. Here are several tips to get your car ready for an awesome road trip:
Get Your Vehicle Checked and Detailed
First of all, you need to take your vehicle to the nearest auto mechanic for a thorough checkup. There are several things to check before you hit the road. Some of these can be handled by car owners, such as checking the engine oil or examining the tire treads for wear and tear. But it’s highly recommended to have a professional mechanic take a good look at your vehicle. Tell the mechanic about your road trip and the terrain you intend to cover. Then the mechanic can examine your car and tell you if it’s ready for a road trip.
You can also get your vehicle detailed at this point, which would involve checking and cleaning the engine—a must before any road trip. You can ask your local mechanic for good car detailing options before you hit the road for weeks.
Lease a Larger Car if Needed
It’s worthwhile to stop and think if that Hyundai accent you are using to get to work every day is actually suited for a road trip across the country or in the mountains. The car you take should be able to accommodate all the people traveling. It should be spacious enough for one driver to nap while the other takes the wheel in turns. The car should be able to tackle the terrain you intend to travel. Considering these option, you might want to rent or lease a bigger vehicle just for the road trip.
Change the Tires and Pack a Spare
Ask your auto mechanic to change tires to suit the terrain you plan on traveling on. Tires should be checked for wear and tear, and also for inflation levels. The tires may require deflating for certain types of rough terrain. Before driving off, you must pack a spare tire in the trunk.
Install a GPS Navigation System
Even if you are very good with directions, it’s strongly recommended to install a GPS system in your car before you go on your trip if it already doesn’t have one. You will be traveling on strange and unfamiliar roads, so you will need all the help you can get. When you go off road, keep in mind that some route information will not be available on GPS. So pack a detailed road map for info on those side roads the digital maps don’t show.
When you hit the road, you must pack an emergency toolkit, extra fuel, and a first aid kit in the trunk. Pack more tools than you usually do for everyday transport to make sure you are not stranded in the middle of your road trip.
When you think about the tools most important to help life run smoothly, a car is one of the highest on the list. Cars are a key part in moving people around and having a smooth daily life. Owning one takes a bug responsibility and a cost commitment as well. When we dream of a car we tend to dream of new cars but the reality is that used cars are purchased more often and they may be a smarter choice for the majority of the population. Used cars allow for the most expensive aspects of car purchasing, their newness, to not be a factor in the price. As a result a buyer can get most of the same features of a new car in an automobile that is only a few years old but sells at a hugely reduced price compared to the new one.
Buying a used car however takes a particular set of guidelines and those seeking to do it must be cautious, because what you see is not always what you are getting. There are two routes that you can take to purchase a used car; either through a private sale or a dealer. Here is how you prepare for each:
Buying From a Dealer
When you purchase a used car from a dealership you get a real business with professionals in the business of selling cars. Used car dealers like Robert Bassam, make a living of supplying customers with used cars that they happily drive for years. If you are considering buying from a used car dealership, the most important things you need to do are to check the reputation of the dealership. You can do this online and look for feedback from customers. If they are happy about their purchase the dealership’s service there is a good chance that you will be as well. Is you find a dealership that does not market themselves online or that does not allow customers to leave public comments, this is a warning sign of potential trouble.
Also it is important to check the range of fees added to the price of the car from the dealership. These fees are sometimes high and need to be negotiated out of the purchase price. Look to do this at the closing when they are really motivated to make the sale. You can easily save yourself hundreds of dollars by understanding what things can be eaten by the dealer.
Buying From a Private Seller
When you purchase from a private seller you run a lot of risks and you need to be extremely cautious. First make sure you do not meet anyone at night and always take along someone with you. Finally when you agree to a purchase, never bring cash and do the sale at a bank if possible. Here is a checklist for you to put to the owner of the vehicle:
Who is the listed owner of the car?
Did you buy the car new? If not how many owners has the car had?
Do you have a vehicle report for the car?
Has the car been in any accidents?
Why are you selling the car?
What is as important as the answers you get, is the demeanor of the seller when he is answering the questions. Does he seem truthful? Is he willingly giving you the information you request? Do his answers make sense? Any sketchy answers is a warning sign that something may not be right and you should abandon the purchase.
If you are thinking of purchasing the car, you should hire a licensed mechanic to do a full inspection of the car. Many cars that look great have severe underlying issue that can cost you thousands of dollars. Only a certified mechanic will know what to look for and be able to give you expert advice on what you may be getting yourself into. Pay this persona and take his advice no matter how much you love the car. If there are repairs that need to be made and you still want the car, size them up and negotiate these repairs into the purchase price.