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How to Get Your Car Ready for a Road Trip


 | May 20, 2015

It’s not too late to plan an April vacation trip for you and the kids. What about a road trip? Gas is cheaper than it has been in a while and chances are all the flights are sold out anyway. It’s still up I the air if spring weather will make an appearance, but after this winter, just getting out of the house seems like a real treat.

Even if a road trip so soon is out of the question, it can also make for a great summer getaway and even just a long weekend adventure. No matter what time of year it is, road trips can be fun for the whole family. We will leave it up to you when you want to go and where you want to go, but when it comes to how to prepare for a road trip, we can help.

First there are the obvious things to do like checking up on your car insurance. Be sure you have towing coverage, just in case the worst happens while on the road. You may also want to look into glass coverage. More time on highways may put you more at risk for cracks that can lead to so much more. On a more fun note, you will want to make sure you have plenty of new songs and snacks for the whole family. No matter how long the journey, it’s best to be as prepared as you can be.

Here is a check list to look at before you pack up the car and hit the road:

  • Check the fluids. This includes: Engine oil, Transmission fluid, Gasoline, Antifreeze/coolant, Radiator coolant, Brake fluid, Windshield washer fluid, Power steering fluid
  • Check your battery; especially if you have had the battery for five or more years, this is when they tend to need to be replaced. Would there be anything worse than a dead battery as you are on a road trip?
  • Change the air filter. This is fairly easy for you to do yourself and could make all the difference whether you have issues on the road or not.
  • Check your tires. Look up in your manual the right amount of air and be sure you have that much pressure in your tires. In addition, consider having a spare on hand.
  • Pack an emergency kit in case you do break down. Include things like: roadside flares, a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, extra oil, a tool kit, and other things you would need if you had to fix something last minute.
  • Is your GPS system working? In today’s world you’ll want to be sure you have GPS on hand. Whil your smartphone may be able to do the job, it’s good to have a backup.
  • Pack up some snacks and drinks for the kids. You may also want to think ahead by coming up with some fun car games to play. While chances are they will have portable DVD players and iPads with them, make some time to put away the electronics and have fun in the car the old fashioned way.

Depending on how long your road trip is going to be and how old your car is, you may want to take it to the mechanic for a check-up. It’s important any of those weird noises or “that doesn’t seem right” things about your car are fixed before your journey. Once everything about your car is checked and your car insurance has you covered, you are ready to hit the road. Unfortunately we don’t have any advice on how to get the kids to stop asking “Are we there yet?”. 



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