Car is not only extremely useful if you need to get around Phoenix or Scottsdale, but also is an excellent mean of transportation for spending a nice and joyful holidays; unlike joining an organized tourist Trip it allows to be independent in many situations, for instance, when planning the route you want to take and objects you would like to see and visit, accommodations you want to get for yourself and perhaps your kids and so on. You can also take more luggage or pets which more likely won’t be allowed on a regular tourist trip. But of course, like any other thing, is has some downsides.
When deciding on a holiday trip with your car, you take extra responsibility for yourself, your passengers and other people taking part in traffic, but for the quality of your holidays as well. Nobody will get praised for a well spent time but you, likewise you won’t be able to blame others if somethings goes wrong but yourself. So, if something bad happens to the car (and here we are not talking about a simple dent repair we can help you with), don’t blame others that they feel disappointed spending several hours or even days while waiting for everything to be fixed. Don’t underestimate the chances that something can go wrong and make enough effort, it’s neither time consuming or expensive.
Oil should be replaced according to your engine oil and filters information and schedule. What exactly oil is required, you can find in the user’s manual or on the internet. You should carefully examine for any oil leakages. The oil level should be checked every 1500 miles during the road trip
Air Filter and Cabin Filter
In addition to the oil filter, it’s advised to also change the air filter and the cabin filter. It won’t neither cost you much, nor take much of your time to replace it. This is essential for car to work properly; old, dirty filters can lead not only to increased fuel consumption, but also some serious repair works concerning main vehicle systems.
Before you rush on your journey, check the coolant, power steering, brake and windshield cleaning fluid levels. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, ask your mechanic to do it. Similarly to the filters, the fluid replacement or fill up isn’t too expensive, but will have a positive impact on your trip safety and comfort.
Air Conditioner (AC)
A long journey on a hot day or a trip to a warm state like Florida can be an unpleasant experience if the air conditioner suddenly does not work properly or simply breaks down. To operate as it is supposed, AC system must be hermetically sealed and filled up with so called freon. Once you plan to get maintenance, ask also for a disinfection, after all you are breathing the cooled air, right?
Brakes, Suspension, Wheels and Tires
Before you leave for the trip, inspect the condition of the tires, wheels, brakes and suspension. If the mechanic at a workshop will notice anything suspicious, you should definitely make the necessary repairs before heading to your destination. Brakes and suspension are one of the fundamental elements which ensure the safety of you and your passengers, so it’s not a smart thing to postpone anything. Check also the tire condition; if they appear not to be able to make the whole trip, get new ones right away, rather than doing it at some point during your holidays. You won’t be happy to do it, neither your passengers will be.
Batteries and light bulbs
In case you have any doubt about the status of your vehicles battery, don’t hesitate to inspect it, as it is relatively easy task. If necessary, get a new battery from an online store, because there is a significantly possibility you will overpay if the battery will have to be replaced during the trip. Also, don’t forget about the light bulbs – even if everything works as it should, take extra set with you. You can never know at what point a light can go out.
Before the trip, keep in mind that the car has to be equipped with a properly working fire extinguisher, first aid kit, reflective vest and warning triangle. In some EU countries vest is mandatory equipment for every passenger and must be accompanied by sets of spare bulbs. Each EU country has different laws, so you have to check them beforehand, depending on your route.
If you do not have an everyday insurance policy, at least get one for the trip. You can never predict what might happen, and the medical help is not cheap service for the foreigners.
Of course, even scrutinized and extremely careful preparation can’t guarantee a smooth trip without unpleasant surprises. However, if there is enough effort put in the preparation before the trip, there won’t be much place and reason for blaming each other.
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