Things to Check Before Your Road Trip

van going down the highway in utah

Whether you’re fleeing from winter weather or dreaming of a summer vacation, there’s nothing quite like a road trip. In order to enjoy the ride to your destination, however, it’s vital that you create a car-health checklist before you need to hire an accident attorney due to your negligence. Here are some things to consider before hitting the road.

Engine Oil

It’s easy to forget about your engine’s oil until the sticker on your windshield reminds you that it needs changed. Long distances, especially in hot weather, can deplete your oil faster than you might think. If you’re even remotely close to an oil change, you might as well get one now. 

Long distances also call for synthetic oil. It offers an extra layer of protection against thermal breakdowns, cutting down on friction loss and improving fuel economy at the same time. 

Your Fluids

While you’re under the hood, don’t forget about your transmission and drive axle. Each have their own form of lubricant that they require to run properly. Since the change interval is drastically longer for these liquids, consult your owner’s manual. If you’re still unsure, a quick pitstop to doublecheck can’t hurt. While you’re here, top off your engine coolant. 

The Hoses

Hoses are tricky at times. They can last a decade despite being next to 212-degree motor parts, but exposure to additional heat from the weather can wear them down quickly. The last thing you want to do is have a hose blow out on you. 

You can easily check these yourself by looking to see if the hose is still rubbery or if it has hardened. Once hardened, it’s prone to cracks and breaks. You should also look for any bulges or blisters. Just to be safe, it helps to buy a hose-patch kit for the journey. 

The Belts

Just like your hoses, you want to make sure your belts are in proper working order. You can check them by turning them sideways and looking at their condition. If they look torn, cracked, or ragged, then it’s time to get new ones. Loud screeching sounds as you accelerate are also an indicator that your belts are worn. 

The Tires

Are your tires inflated and do they have enough tread for the journey? A blowout is a fast-track to an accident or worse, so don’t skimp on this checkup. Check the pressure to ensure everything is in tip top shape and you’re good to go. Did you know that low tire pressure reduces gas mileage? 

The Battery

Finally, you want to check the battery. Look to see if the terminals are free of corrosion and that your leads are fastened tightly. If you hear your engine sputtering or if it sounds sluggish as you start your vehicle, it’s probably time to replace the battery. 

Extra Credit

Taking this advice could not only save your family vacation, but it could also save your marriage from needing a divorce attorney too. Before heading out, make sure all of your double-checking went to good use and take your car for a spin on the nearest freeway. Listen for any unwanted noises and pay attention to any shakes. Check the gauges, too. If everything checks out, then you’re ready to hit the road.