By DCB Editorial, July 26, 2022
A road trip can be a fun experience, but only if you’re properly prepared for both yourself and your vehicle. Whether you’re moving, taking a vacation, or something else entirely, there are certain things you should do to keep your vehicle in great shape for the road and to keep yourself out of danger.
Here we’ve put together some basic vehicle maintenance tips to keep you safe on the road. We’ll cover some basics you may already know as well as a couple things you may not have thought of.
Check That Your Tires Are in Good Condition
One of the most important parts of your vehicle in terms of safety is the tires. In fact, worn tires are a major contributor to motor vehicle accidents as drivers have less traction on the road. Severely worn tires can greatly affect stopping distance as well. You should always perform a check of your tires before any long trips to make sure they still have plenty of tread and are free of punctures and wear that may cause a flat or even a blowout while you’re on the road.
Just having a spare is a good idea but if your tires are in rough shape then that may not be enough. Also, make sure that your tires have been rotated and balanced properly to ensure a more comfortable and safe ride.
Make Sure Your Battery is in Good Shape
Something we fail to think about when going on a trip is the condition of your battery, but if your vehicle is getting on in years you definitely want to get your battery tested to make sure there are no problems and you won’t end up unable to start your vehicle after a stop and searching for someone with jumper cables or calling roadside assistance.
You may also want to have your battery serviced, just so that the ports and connections are clean and there are no issues that may lead to a leak or faulty connection.
Get a Basic Tune Up
A quick and easy way to get basic maintenance, including making sure all your fluid levels are where they should be, is with a basic tune up. Any local mechanic should be able to perform one and they will check to make sure things like oil, radiator fluid, windshield wipers, and other basic components are in good shape.
Many times we forget to check fluid levels or get an oil change before a big trip. While it may seem minor, it can cause big problems if left unchecked while driving and putting a lot of miles on your vehicle.
Get Your Brakes Checked
Your brakes are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. Like the tires, failing to maintain your brakes can be disastrous when traveling. Over time your brakes become worn and it is more difficult and takes longer to stop your vehicle. This can easily lead to an accident if your brakes are not maintained properly.
If you’re not inclined to check and if necessary replace your brakes yourself, then you can typically get it done at any auto shop. Your brakes actually consist of multiple parts such as the calipers, brake pads, and rotors, as well as many other connected components. If any of these gets worn down, it stops functioning as well as it should and may lead to an accident. Even on a newer vehicle these can wear down with extended use and should be checked before a long trip.
There you have it, some basic maintenance tips to keep you safe while on the road. We hope these tips help you get better prepared the next time you’re planning a road trip.