Road trips are usually fun and exciting, and everyone’s normally itching to go. However, it’s very important that you check your car’s health first. It would be advisable to run through a five-minute checklist a week in advance before you set out for your anticipated trip. So what do I need to check my car for?
Check the condition of your belts
Most roadside assistance calls are usually because of broken belts. Replacements belts are not such a big deal since they are easy to replace and find close to your home. However, if you are traveling far into rural areas, your car belt might be very hard to find. To check, twist the belt slightly to expose cracks or glazing. Ensure that you replace any belt that is cracked or worn out.
Check your car for fluid leaks
Tiny leaks in your car might turn to gushers once you are out on the road, and this can prove to be costly. The most causes of leaks are usually at the radiator, oil pan, transmission oil pan and the hoses, power steering hoses, rack and heater and radiator hoses. You can use a flashlight to check for leaks. You should watch out for the color of the leaking fluid and trace it to the source.
Ensure that you check and top off all fluids
Shut your engine off, then check your power steering fluid, your brake fluid, windshield washer, engine oil and your coolant. Most of the automatic cars around can be checked with the engine running and the gearshift set at “park.” Confirm with your owner’s manual. Look for the power steering fluid level to reach the cold mark on the dip stick, in case it’s low, check you manual to buy the correct fluid.
Check your car’s exterior lights
Car bulbs are easy to check and inexpensive to replace. The bulb numbers on your car are usually listed in your owner’s manual, just turn your car key to the accessories position. Operate and turn signals while checking to ensure all your lights are working.
Check you tire pressure
When you have low tire pressure, it can cause the car to use more gas, wear faster and run hotter. Hot tires will blow over extended drives on the highway. Ensure that you check all of them including the spare before you set off.