Before you pack up and head to your favorite spot, you need to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape.
No one ever wants to experience car trouble, but it’s especially annoying and overwhelming when you’re away from home. Before you hit the road, use this checklist to prepare your car:
- Change your oil and filter
- Change spark plugs.
- Change air filter
- Check the condition of your tires and air pressure, but avoid over-inflating
- Check your spare tire’s air pressure
- Make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape
- Refill your wiper fluid
- Check your coolant levels
- Inspect your headlights
- Clean your car, both inside and out
- Keep a small garbage bag inside the car
- Cover headlights and the front of the car with protective sheets to prevent bug clogs or other damage
- Make certain your tire iron and jack are in the car
- Keep a spare key to your car in your wallet in case you lock your keys in the car
- Check the sun protectors for side windows and the windshield
- Fill your gas tank
- Make sure your owner’s manual is handy
Once you’ve performed any needed car maintenance, it’s time to assemble your safety and survival kit. Don’t leave home without these things in your car:
- Chain or towing rope
- Tools: screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, hammer
- Bungee cord
- Fire extinguisher
- Plastic funnel and a water bucket
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
Before you hit the road, make one final check of the following:
- Check the condition of your tires and tread. Look for signs of strain, bulges or other damage.
- Check your tire pressure.
- Check your wipers and the level of wiper fluid.
- Check your coolant levels to make sure you have enough coolant.
- Flush your radiator, if you haven’t done so in a while.
- Check your fuses and horn.
- Check your headlights to make sure that high and low beams are working.
- Check the levels on your oil, power steering and brake fluid.
- Look for any loose cables.
Don’t forget to download some of your favorite podcasts or ebooks, and pack some of your favorite snacks and plenty of bottled water before hitting the road. Then hit the road knowing that you and your vehicle are both ready to have a great time. Enjoy your trip!