There’s nothing more stressful than car troubles on vacation. For those who are relying on their cars to get them safely from point A to point B and beyond, here are some tips and suggestions to help ensure your travel plans go off without a hitch.
Before you leave it’s most important to make sure your car is in peak condition. That includes making sure all your lights (front, rear, brake, reverse, fog, turn signal and interior) are working. Your windshield should be clean and have no visible cracks, and your windshield wipers should be streak free and working properly. Make sure your windshield washer fluid reservoir is full, too.
Regardless of how far your journey will take you, your brakes are going to get a work out so make sure there’s no grinding, squeaking or squealing. Your tires should be inflated to the proper tire pressure (see your owner’s manual or the door jamb of your car for proper air pressure) and should have good tread left. If you have any doubts, be sure to see a professional. If your tires haven’t been rotated in a while, have it done before you leave. Any tire balancing or wheel alignment necessary can be done at the same time to minimize uneven wear and extend the life of your tires. Be sure to have any equipment that may be necessary along your route or at your destination, like tire changes if traveling in the mountains.
It’s best to check your oil and other fluid levels, even if you’ve had an oil change recently. If any seem low, it’s best to stop by the dealership and let the service techs see if there’s any issue. While you’re there, ask them to check all hoses, belts and other issues like noises or smells that may concern you.by