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Car Maintenance for Getting Ready Before a Road Trip

road trip

When preparing for a road trip, it is important to make sure your car is in good working order before you hit the road. This will include getting car maintenance beforehand to ensure that your car will be able to endure the long journey ahead. Let’s take a look at the most important maintenance items to take care of before setting off on a big road trip and how CarAdvise can help you manage your car maintenance. Keep in mind that it may be a good idea to get additional services and parts inspected before departing on a long trip.

 

General Maintenance

There are a few seemingly small and minor maintenance items that can cause major problems down the road if ignored. With these general maintenance items, you want to get these components serviced on a regular basis, but if it has been a while since you got them done, it is a good idea to get them checked out before that big road trip. Below is a list of small but important general maintenance items to get checked out before you take off on a long road trip:

  • Engine oil level

Depending on your type of usage and the make and model of your car, you should get your engine oil changed about once every 5,000-15,000 miles. Even if it is not quite time for an oil change yet, it is still a good idea to have your mechanic check your engine oil level to see if you need a top-off. Having adequate amounts of engine oil is important for keeping your engine running smoothly and clean.

  • Coolant level

Just like with your engine oil, you want to make sure you have adequate amounts of coolant for your engine. Engine coolant is important for keeping your engine cool and clean and for preventing rust and damage to key engine parts. Coolant flushes are needed as often as oil changes, about every three to five years, so it is easy to forget about. You may also lose coolant over time as you drive your car. Have a mechanic inspect your coolant level and give you a quick top-off if necessary.

  • All filters

Your car utilizes several kinds of filters to keep your vehicle systems free of dirt and debris. These include air, fuel, and cabin filters. Air filters help keep dust and debris from the air out of the engine, while fuel filters help keep debris and other foreign matter out of your fuel and engine. Your cabin filters are air filters that filter out the air your breathe on the interior of your vehicle. You should get these air filters routinely replaced when they get dirty and full, but have a mechanic check them out to see if they need replacing before you set off on your road trip.

  • Spark plugs

Spark plugs are part of your car’s engine that fire off a spark to ignite and initiate the internal combustion process in your engine. Without spark plugs, your car wouldn’t be able to burn the fuel necessary to drive. Spark plugs are usually quite durable, so their timeline for replacement can very anywhere between every 30,000-90,000 miles. Since their replacement interval will vary depending on the kind of car you drive, have your mechanic inspect them and make their recommendation before departure.

  • Battery charge/new battery

Batteries are a crucial component to your vehicle. Without them, your car won’t even be able to start! Avoid having to call a tow truck by having your battery die on you – get your battery checked out before you depart on your road trip and get it fully charged up. This is especially important if you plan on using your car’s battery for secondary uses, such as charging your phone or powering a cooler. Your car battery should be completely replaced about every two to five years depending on your driving habits.

For more general car maintenance tips, please check out this car maintenance guide from our friends at Porch.com.

 

Tire Check

Making sure your tires are in good condition before leaving for your road trip will help you avoid expensive and inconvenient tire problems while out on the road. Even something as benign as a flat tire can leave you stranded and calling for roadside assistance. Doing a thorough tire check will help you avoid a flat tire. A proper tire check includes:

  • Checking the tire wear

Your tires will wear out from normal use and uneven tire wear lowers your tires’ lifespan and can be an indication of a separate maintenance issue that needs to be resolved. Have your mechanic check the wear on your tires and, if needed, change to new ones if necessary. If your mechanic notices the tire wear is uneven, they will likely inspect your vehicle further to resolve the cause of the problem.

  • Checking tire pressure

Under- and overinflated tires can both cause issues while on the road, including a bumpy ride or even a tire blowout. Poor tire pressure will also cause premature wear, causing you to replace your tires sooner than usual. Get your tire pressure checked and ensure that they each have the correct amount of air.

  • Checking the tire alignment

Tire alignments are crucial to maintaining tire health and should be performed regularly. A misalignment can cause premature tire wear and reduced fuel efficiency, which you will definitely feel in your wallet. Have a mechanic check your tire alignment before setting off on your road trip adventure.

 

Brake Check

Your brakes are one of the most important safety features that your car has. The brake system also needs routine maintenance and components such brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid will need to be replaced regularly as well. Be on the lookout for signs that your brakes may require maintenance or repair – creaking, grinding, ineffective brakes and a vibrating steering wheel are all crucial signs that you need your brakes examined right away. The easiest way to diagnose any brake issues and ensure that your brake system is good to go is to book a brake inspection. Anything that is out of sorts will be repaired or replaced during a brake inspection.

 

CarAdvise for all-around car maintenance

Whether you’re heading out of town on a road trip or just need some routine car maintenance, CarAdvise makes car care simple. Book a maintenance appointment is minutes through CarAdvise and save 10-40% on all car maintenance services. See shops and compare prices near you, get maintenance reminders, and save on car care every time when you book through us.

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