Going on an adventurous road trip is always exciting, but it can also result in some major travel inconveniences if your vehicle isn’t prepared. Considering these expert tips will give you peace of mind so you can focus on an enjoyable travel experience, whether your vehicle is new or already has some years and miles on it.

Check all the tires and don’t forget the spare

Since you’ll be putting some miles on those tires and could end up traveling through towns with limited service stations, this item should be at the top of your list. When inspecting the condition of your tires, look for signs of wear and tear, such as uneven treads, and make sure you are getting an accurate tire pressure reading.

Underinflated tires can affect fuel efficiency and compromise handling, while overinflated tires can lead to poor traction. Refer to your owner’s manual for ideal tire pressure. Inspect the spare tire and ensure you have all the necessary tools to change a tire if needed.

Now is the time to take a look at your battery

If it’s been a few years since you replaced your car battery, it might be time to consider a new one. Test the battery’s voltage and check for signs of corrosion on the terminals. Depending on the model of your car, the gauges in the dash may alert you to a battery issue.

If everything appears to check out okay and there are no alerts from your vehicle, think back to when your battery was last replaced. Some batteries need to be checked if they are over three years old, while others can last longer. A comprehensive battery test will determine if it’s showing signs of weakness. Replacing it before your road trip is well worth the investment to prevent getting stranded on the roadside. If you need help checking your charging system, most battery or auto parts stores offer this courtesy service.

Be aware of brake warning signs and check lights

Addressing any signs of brake issues on your vehicle is a vital component to staying safe, especially on a long trip. Some brake problems can go unnoticed, but there are warning signs that a car’s brakes need to be examined further. Your vehicle should always stop smoothly with no noticeable accompanying sounds.

If you hear a screeching or scraping sound when you tap the brake pedal, there may be an issue with your pads, rotors, or other brake problems. If you notice a vibration in the front end when coming to a stop, a thorough inspection of your vehicle is advisable. Brakes will wear over time and they can show signs sooner than usual if you do a lot of city driving since traffic is stop-and-go. Check all brake lights, headlights, and other vehicle lights to be sure they are in good working condition.

Take a look at the windshield wipers and check fluids

When you’re on the open road, you will be subjected to various driving conditions. It is important to do all you can to maintain a clear view. Check out the windshield wipers and look for any signs of wear. When you turn the wipers on, they should move smoothly across your windshield with no resistance or scraping sounds. If you notice any wear and tear on the blades, it is time to get a new pair of wipers.

Don’t forget to top off the windshield washer fluid and other fluids while you’re at it. Check the levels of essential fluids such as engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Low fluid levels can lead to poor engine performance, poor brake performance, and compromised visibility.

AC System Check

A trip without air conditioning can be very uncomfortable, especially in warmer months. When your AC is operating optimally, the air should feel immediately cooler as it enters the car’s interior. If you aren’t feeling cool air right away or you notice unusual sounds when the air comes on, get it checked out.

Your car’s AC works to keep all passengers comfortable during the warm weather but also provides other functions. When condensation or fogginess appears on your car’s windows the circulating air from the air conditioning helps to clear it up.

Begin your journey with a clean car

Getting into a car is much more comfortable when it’s clean and smelling fresh. This is especially true if you’re going to be in the vehicle for several hours or more. Our state-of-the-art car washes provide all you need to clean your vehicle inside and out. Offering floor mat cleaning, vacuums, and access to our kiosks so you can stock up on items including air fresheners before you hit the road.

At Flagstop Car Wash, we make it a breeze to keep your vehicle clean. Stop by one of our convenient locations and have safe travels!

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