You’ve been stuck at the same boring places for weeks or even months. You keep focusing on places that aren’t there, even though they might be the ones you prefer. Perhaps the weather is just too beautiful to ignore. Perhaps you want to travel somewhere snowy, even though it doesn’t snow at home. There are many places to visit, great roads to follow, and places you already love. You just need to get in your car and drive.
It’s time to go on a road trip.
Your car is your only support system. It’s one thing to have a breakdown during your commute, but what about if your car breaks down and leaves you far from home? Car care is essential all year but it’s especially important before you go on a road trip.
Cars’ fluids are vital. The service intervals for your car’s six essential liquids depend on how much you drive. Consider how far you have driven since your last service and how far your trip will take to determine what needs attention. You might want to get it done early if you are going to reach a milestone in your trip.
Oil It doesn’t take a car expert or a mechanic to understand that oil is essential for an engine. It lubricates moving parts such as the crankshaft, camshaft, and pistons so that they move freely without friction. Oil changes were once recommended every 3,000 to 5k miles. But technology has advanced since then, both in oil and under the hood. According to Consumer Reports, many automakers recommend that you change your oil every 7,500 to 10,000 mi. Before setting an oil change schedule, double-check your manual. If you haven’t had an oil change in the recommended timeframe, use the dipstick. Get it checked immediately if it’s gritty, black or below the minimum fill level.
Radiator fluid Engines generate a lot heat, and the radiator keeps them cool. The names antifreeze or coolant also knows radiator fluid. It works by extracting heat from the engine and dissipating it through the radiator. Overheating can be caused by a low coolant level. Make sure to check the coolant levels and top up if necessary. You should flush your system every 40,000-50,000 miles.
Brake fluid Fluid–yes, fluid!–compresses within the brake lines when you press the pedal. This causes the brake pads to clamp onto the rotors, slowing down your car. You may notice a spongy or spongy feel to the pedal. This could be due to fluid contamination . If you notice a spongy pedal, remove the air bubbles from the lines. If you have a spongy pedal, you will need to top-off your brake fluid and flush it every 24,000 miles.
Power steering fluid Modern cars have power steering. However, this fluid can become contaminated and make your steering less responsive. It is good to check your vehicle’s oil level and condition every time you change it. Your power steering fluid should be changed no matter how many miles you drive.
Transmission fluid A jerky transmission is one of the worst things that can happen to a drive. Transmission fluid is essential for smooth gear movement. If it becomes contaminated, incontinence can result. Transmission fluid is durable and many cars come with “lifetime” fluid. You should consult your car’s owner’s manual to determine the recommended service interval. They can range from 30,000 to more than 100,000 miles per Consumer Reports. However it’s generally a good idea to change the fluid at 60.000 miles regardless of whether you have a “lifetime” fluid. Transmission fluid older than 100,000 miles is more likely to cause problems.
Windshield fluid Long drives can leave your car dirty and it’s more important than ever to clean your windshield. You must be able see where you are going. It’s easy to add windshield washer fluid: get a jug at any gas station and then use a funnel to top off your reservoir if it runs low.
As you would expect, tires are crucial to safety, comfort, and fuel efficiency. It is important to inspect your tires before you go.
Air Pressure – 1,000 Miles: Road trippers need to get good gas mileage when the “Next Gas 130 Miles Sign” appears. Underinflated tires will waste gas. Because they are less flexible, underinflated tires can worsen your ride experience. Tires that are too low in air pressure can cause uneven wear, which reduces their lifespan. You can find the correct air pressure on most cars in the owner’s manual or on your driver’s side door sticker. Before you leave, check your tire pressures and again approximately after every 1,000 miles . If you experience a temperature change, check your tire pressures again. This will affect the pressure in your tires.
Rotation – 5,000 to 8,000 Miles: Tire wear can be caused by various factors, including suspension calibration, weight balance, driving habits, and road conditions. It is important to rotate your tires periodically between different places on your car. Because each tire wears in different places, it is better to swap tires from one side to the other. You should rotate your tires every 5,000 to 8 000 miles or whenever you notice that one tire tread is wearing down faster than the other.
Replacement – 25,000 to 50,000 Miles: If your tires start to look a little bald, the penny-test can help you determine if it is time to replace them. With Abraham Lincoln’s head facing in the groove, stick a penny into your tire tread groove. You should be able to see Lincoln’s head if you have replaced your tires. You should replace your tires if it is within sight of Lincoln’s head. Most tires will last between 25,000 and 50,000 miles, depending on the type and usage. However, tires can be damaged by punctures, exposed cords, or sidewall bulges.
There are many components to cars that need to be maintained in order to keep them in top condition. Before you drive off, make sure to inspect these parts.
Brake pad: Brake pad provides the friction required to slow down and stop your vehicle. They become thinned with time. It’s usually obvious when they become too thin because of the annoying screeching and squealing noise that they make when there’s not enough pad material. The noise can be fixed by replacing the brake pads. This will make your trip safer. Depending on the material and use of your brake pads, they may last 25,000 to 70,000 miles .
Dusty roads are caused by air filters To prevent dirt, dust and bugs from getting into the engine and interior of cars, air filters are used. These air filters eventually reach their maximum capacity and can get clogged. This can affect engine performance as well as fuel economy and interior air quality. The engine air filter should usually be changed every 10,000 to 15,000. Your cabin filter should last between 12,000 to 15,000. These filters are often inexpensive and simple to replace.
Flashing lights: A broken headlight, taillight, or blinker can make it difficult to pull over while driving. Turn on your car and leave it in Park. Next, turn on the Headlights. Walk around the car to check if there are any broken bulbs. You can repeat the same process for the left and the right turn signals. Keep the car in park and hold down the brake pedal with a brick to check the condition of the brake lights.
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR CAR
Hoses and belts: While it can be daunting to look under your car’s hood, there are some obvious signs that you can see. To ensure that the belts are tight, you should press down on them. If the belt has teeth, the teeth must not come off when you push the belt. Don’t drive the belt if it skips any teeth. If you are in there, check for cracking, fraying, or missing teeth. This indicates that the belts need to be replaced. To check for fluid leaks at the ends of the hoses , make sure you inspect the hoses . Having a hose or a belt fail in the middle of a drive can spell disaster for an engine and leave you stranded–potentially without a fixable car.
It’s no secret that car maintenance can be frustrating. It’s not as bad as having your adventure interrupted by an unavoidable problem. It’s hard work for your car on a road trip. Give it the fuel it needs to continue running.
You don’t want to spend too much time in one vehicle.
Keep it Clean: There’s nothing worse than a dirty, smelly car. Before you leave for your trip, make sure to clean the interior. You should pay attention to everything you come in contact with, including the dashboard controls, floor mats, storage areas, and floor mats. You don’t want to spill a whole Big Gulp on your lap due to it sticking to the cupholder’s bottom. You should make sure that the trunk is clean to avoid damage to your luggage and souvenirs. Before you leave, make sure to wash the exterior. You’ll encounter a lot of them on the open roads, as well as bugs and bird poop that are known for eating paint.
Organize It’s one of the worst feelings to experience on a long journey. You feel lost and confused. To avoid this, organize your car’s interior before leaving. You should make sure that all commonly used storage areas, including your cupholders, are in good working order. Make sure you have enough power adapters and cords to power your phones, navigation systems, and other electronics. Also, figure out where the cords should go before they get lost in the canyon between the seats and the console. Finally, make sure you have a designated trash bin or bag. This will help keep your home clean and your fellow travelers calm.
Although car care is a hassle, it is not as terrible as having your adventure interrupted by an unavoidable problem. Cars are hard-working on road trips, so make sure you give your car what it needs.