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.