While taking a road trip can be fun, it can also be extremely dangerous if you’re not careful with your preparation. As a result of this, many people who get in car accidents while on a road trip will often find that the problem could have been avoided or mitigated had they only done the right maintenance on their care beforehand.
So to help ensure that this situation doesn’t happen to you, here are three things to check on your car before taking off on a road trip.
All Your Fluid Levels
Some of the first things you should check before leaving on a road trip are the fluid levels throughout your vehicle.
According to Alex Leanse, a contributor to Popular Mechanics, you’ll want to check your oil, radiator fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and your windshield wiper fluid. If any of these things are at the wrong levels, you could have major issues while you’re driving. If you’re not sure how to check these things on your own or at what levels you should be keeping these fluids, make sure you bring your car into a mechanic before you leave on your trip, as they’ll be able to help you know if anything is amiss.
The Life Of Your Tires
Another part of your car that needs to be in prime condition before leaving on a road trip is your tires. Your tires are what’s going to keep your car on the road, so it’s imperative that you ensure that they’re up to the task.
When checking your tires, Rubie Obias, a contributor to Reader’s Digest, recommends that you look for things like balding tread, uneven wear, cracks, bubbles, gouges, and tire pressure. If any of these look questionable to you, be sure you get them checked out before hitting the road.
Additionally, make sure you check these specs on your spare tire as well as on the tires you’re presently driving on, as the only thing that can make needing to use your spare tire worse is not having a safe spare tire to use.
Windshield Wipers and Exterior Lights
Unless your road trip is going to be very short and sweet, it’s a good idea to ensure that both your windshield wipers and your exterior lights are all functioning well.
For your windshield wipers, Jeff S. Bartlett, a contributor to Consumer Reports, recommends that you automatically replace them if they’re more than a few months old, especially if you’ll be taking a long road trip or are expecting some unfavorable weather. And as for your exterior lights, have someone help you make sure that they’re all in good working order by walking around your car while you shift into reverse, press on your brakes, and flash your headlights and brights.
If you’ve got a road trip coming up, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you get your car ready for this adventure.