Wednesday, April 17, 2013

5 Things to Do to Prepare Your Car for a Summer Road Trip

If your car is reaching a certain age, it's only normal for you to worry about taking it on a long trip. Yet, what most people don't know is that long trips make less damage to your car than short course trips in the city.

The speed will be constant, you won't be needing to hit the brakes so often, making the car spend less gas and the motor won't have too much strain.

But, the last thing you want is to have a breakdown away from home. To avoid this, do a few simple checkups, the earlier the better - two to four weeks before departure would be the best choice.

  • Repair major problems: If your car needs some big repairs, you should make them ASAP. This will give you time to see if there's something really wrong with the car, and you'll have the time to fix it.

A good thing to keep in check, is the coolant. If you're going to a warmer or colder place than what you're used to, your car may suffer with the changes. Ask for the mechanic to check if your vehicle is properly protected, and have it done as soon as possible.

  • Check tires and spares: Make sure your tires have the proper pressure. If you have a low pressure, your tires will heat up, and this can cause them to blow up if you speed up. The best way to do this is by checking your user's manual, to see what the best pressure for your car. Also, check your tires tread.

A good thing to do beforehand is to check the spare tire - is it inflated? Also, check if the jack, wrench and everything you need to change a tire is in the trunk

  • Check the glove compartment: Make sure you have your vehicles owner manual and registration. If you don't have the manual anymore, order a replacement or ask if they don't have it in PDF format on their websites.

Check the registration to see if won't expire while you're on your trip, and keep it in your wallet or in your pocket, in case your car is robbed. It's also a good idea to have a road atlas in there, just in case.

  • Check the air filter: If your air filter is obstructed or clogged, it will make you spend more fuel. They aren't very expensive, and they're quite easy to change. If you haven't changed the filter ever, and your car is over 10,000 miles, it's time for a change.
  • Join Triple A: If you don't have a roadside assistance program, consider triple A. in case of an emergency or if you have any problems, they'll tow it, put gas in it if you run out and change the tire if it goes flat.

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