The end of the summer may be coming at you faster than you’d like it to, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely over just yet. You’ve still got time to squeeze one final memorable event into it, and if you’re a bit stuck as to what event that should be, then why not consider a Road trip?
Heading out on a long journey in your car with a few of the people that are closest to you in life could be the perfect memory to cap off summer 2018. If you do decide to hit the road, just make sure that you don’t head out straight away. There are things that you need to do to your car to get it Road Trip ready. To see what needs doing before your trip, read on.
Check your tires
On a road trip, you aren’t just popping to the shops. Your car needs to get you from A to B to Z, and it won’t be able to do so if its tires aren’t up to scratch.
How do you know if they’re up to scratch or not? By using the old penny trick to check the tire tread depth, of course! After inserting a coin head down in the tread, still being able to see Lincoln staring back at you means that now is the time for you to be replacing your tires altogether. If you can’t see the head, but can see instances of blisters, bulges, and cracks, then you should also be considering a change.
If you want to avoid wasting precious road tripping time by having to change your tire on a hot and busy highway, check them and, if needs be, replace them before you set off.
Tend to your windshield wipers and fluid
Something that is often forgotten by road trippers is their windshield wipers and fluid. This is dangerous, because when they aren’t working at their optimum ability, for example, the windshield is too dirty or smudged to see out of, and there are no wipers or fluid to clean the outside of it, a variety of visibility problems can occur. So, don’t forget to tend to your wipers and fluid, and to change them if they aren’t leaving your windshield completely clean.
Make sure to flush the radiator
Another thing that is often forgotten by road trippers is the car’s radiator, specifically how hot it is getting. By getting too hot, your radiator can cause your car to overheat, which is neither comfortable for those that are in the vehicle at the time or for the vehicle’s performance as a whole. If you don’t want your car to end up steaming on the side of a road somewhere along your road trip route, then you need to get the radiator flushed and filled. Importantly, this means flushing out any residue left by antifreeze.
Inspect the battery
Without a properly working battery, your car isn’t going to get you from A to B, let alone all the way to Z. So, you must be inspecting it before setting off, ensuring that it has the juice needed to get you where you need to do.
To inspect your battery, first, you should be looking under the hood for any cable connections that might be loose, frayed or broken, as well as looking out for instances of dirt or corrosion. If you see any of these things, or if you see any liquid oozing out from within the battery, then it’s time you got it changed.
If it’s just a clean up that you think your battery and its terminals need, then you can do so by removing the cables (always the negative one first), rubbing them with a paste solution formed of baking soda and water, and then scrubbing them down with an old toothbrush.
Give the brakes a workout
As you travel down unknown roads on your road trip route, you will more than likely find yourself going the wrong way at some point or another. When this is the case, your instant reaction will be to stop the car, and this can only happen if your breaks are working properly. To ensure they are, give the pads a workout beforehand. If they need some TLC, then give it to them by filling the brake fluid.
Don’t forget the inside
Fixing up the inside of your car might not necessarily affect its performance or roadworthiness, but you still shouldn’t forget about it. Do you truly think your fellow trippers will want to be sitting in a dirty, cramped car for the duration of their long journey? The answer is no, so do something about it!
This could mean doing anything from a bit off spring cleaning to an actual bit of DIY car upholstery. In regards to the latter, you can fix rips in your seats by using quick-drying glue that is specially formulated for upholstery and then finishing the job with fabric sealant. You can patch up holes caused by animals claws or cigarette burns by cutting out two patches of similar fabric to size, placing one underneath the hole and one on top, and then glue them on. Furthermore, you can buff out scratches on leather by using a conditioning cream or spray lacquer. Also, don’t forget to give your seat belts an inspection, as them working correctly is pivotal if you want to remain safe throughout your trip.
You and your fellow road trippers are going to be spending a lot of time inside your car, so you might as well make it as comfortable as can be.
Going on a road trip is a once in a lifetime experience, and you don’t want your car to ruin it for you because you didn’t get it ready for its long, arduous journey before you set off. So, it’s simple, take the advice above, make sure everything is in order with your vehicle before you leave, and go out there and see the best roads that the world has to offer!
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