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Preparing Your Car For A Road Trip

To avoid breakdowns during a road trip, ensure your vehicle is well-maintained and repaired beforehand, as long trips can be demanding on your car. Taking these precautions can prevent being stranded far from home.
Preparing Your Car For A Road Trip
Preparing Your Car For A Road Trip

Road trips are marathons for your vehicle, so you need to prepare for the incredibly lengthy mileage. Going on a road trip without any maintenance or repairs beforehand could spell disaster for you and your vehicle. No one wants to be stuck waiting on the side of the road for a tow truck, hundreds of miles away from home. To prevent this from occurring, you can take steps to ensure that your vehicle is prepared for the entire trip.

Checks To Make Before You Leave

Paying attention to service intervals is the best way to know if something needs to be replaced, but getting certain systems checked out is vital before a road trip. Sometimes, wear and tear can happen quicker than expected, and getting a preemptive check done is better than trying to find a solution while on the road. We highly recommend that you perform the following maintenance tasks before you hit the road:

Monitoring Oil And Fluid Levels

The first thing you should do is check your car’s fluid levels. This check should include your brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and, most importantly, oil. Each of these fluids is integral to your vehicle’s function. In addition to checking the fluid levels, taking your vehicle to a mechanic to check for leaks can save you from unnecessary repairs made on the road.

Car Battery Inspection

The battery is incredibly important. Checking the amount of power you have left on it is essential, especially if you’re coming out of spring. You should also visually check it to ensure that there’s no corrosion building up around the terminals.

Check Tire Tread And Pressure

No one wants to deal with a popped tire on the side of the road. Before leaving, make sure you thoroughly check all four of your tires – as well as the spare if you have one. First, check the tires’ treads and sides for any visual damage. Then, insert a quarter into one of the grooves with the top of George Washington’s head pointing towards the axle. If the quarter is inserted all the way and you can see the top of Washington’s head, you should get new tired before you hit the road. Finally, you should check your tire pressure levels to ensure they match your make and model needs.

Listen To And Inspect Your Brakes

The brake system will take a lot of wear and tear during this trip. If you’re hearing screeching or grinding sounds while braking, taking your car in for brake services before the trip will save you from needing to repair more damage.

Test Headlights And Blinkers

Having one of your lights out is a great way for you to be pulled over mid-journey. Have someone help you check your lights by putting your car in park and testing each out. Check headlights, turn signals, brake lights, high beams, and reverse lights to ensure they all work.

Getting Your Car Prepared By A Professional in Winchester, VA

While doing these checks, you may notice that one or more key systems in your car need services before you can take it on the road. If this is the case, you’re in the right place. Mission Auto Repair in Winchester, VA can help you prepare your car for your road trip! Our ASE-certified master technician can perform whatever repair or check you need. Call our office today to make your appointment!