If you’re still getting over the fact that you can’t satisfy your wanderlust with a long international trip, don’t worry. You absolutely don’t have to spend your summer locked in your house. Instead of booking flights, grab a map and plan a fun road trip! Summer is the perfect time for this activity and you can make your adventure as long or as short as you like—you make the rules.
However, there’s one thing that’s not arbitrary: your vehicle’s health. If you don’t want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere, you must get your car ready for a road trip. Here are some vehicle tips to get you through your adventure:
Change your fluids
Checking your fluids regularly should be a normal part of your car maintenance, but it’s especially important before your big road trip. Make sure all your fluid levels are at full or near-full (this includes your transmission and brake fluids as well). If you’re taking a longer trip, always have some fluids on hand to top of your levels (bottles can be safely stored in the trunk). A simple oil change will make your car run efficiently, keep the engine clean and protected, increase your gas mileage and make your ride smoother.
Examine your battery
You definitely don’t want any battery issues on your road trip, so make sure to crack your hood and examine your battery, no matter if it’s brand new or not. Pay special attention to any corrosion and loose terminals. If you notice any corrosion on the positive or negative terminals, clean it with a mixture of baking soda and hot water. Of course, make sure the battery doesn’t have any cracks, tears or damage on the terminals. Before reinstalling your clean clamps and terminals, make sure they are completely dry!
Get new tyres
New tyres can completely change your road trip experience. If you still have winter tyres or all-season tyres, it’s time to invest in something that will improve your safety and comfort on the road. And if you’re not in the mood for hitting tyre stores, just turn to the Internet and you’ll find everything you need. You can easily check out online tyres, type in your characteristics and your vehicle model and get brand new wheels in no time. This method is easy and time-saving and you don’t need any previous experience with tyre purchasing. Of course, it’s also important to have good tyre pressure throughout your road trip.
Polish your headlights
There’s a big chance that you’ll drive a lot during the night or even run into some fog on the road, so you need to ensure good visibility. If you have an older car, your headlights are probably a little foggy which can reduce your illumination. In that case, it might be smart to give your headlights a nice polish. There are practical kits that will allow you to polish your lights at home very quickly and efficiently.
According to some research, these home kits can improve your headlights’ output by 30%. If you don’t have time for such a project, visit a car shop and they will take care of your headlights for you. Replacing your regular bulbs with LEDs is also a good idea if you want to boost brightness.
There’s nothing worse than spending hot summer days in a boiling vehicle, so check whether your AC is working properly. If you usually only take short rides, you might not even notice your AC is not working optimally, so a good long test might be necessary. Blast your AC and see if it’s blowing cool air. If yes, your gas levels are probably fine, but if the only thing you can feel is hot air circulation, you might be in for a repair. Also, make sure your cabin air filter is clean. New filters usually cost about $20 and they are easy to replace on your own.
Add some practical tech
You want your road trip to be both fun and safe, so adding some tech to your car is a great way to boost both. Most new vehicles are equipped with cameras for safe backing up, but if your car doesn’t have them, you might want to invest in such a gadget. For some entertainment during your trip, you can easily keep the peace with a power splitter. With a gadget like that, you can avoid many fights over who gets to charge their device. Some splitters have as many as five USB connections so everyone can keep their phones and tablets charged at all times.
Road trips are not only super fun for families and groups of friends, but they are also a great way to bond, explore and get to know your country better. So, this year, make sure to get your car in top shape, pack your things and embark on a road adventure. If you follow all of these tips listed above, you’ll have a fun, safe and memorable trip.