How to Prepare Your Car for a Long Road Trip

As a driver you will know how important it is to make sure that your car is up to date and in full working order, however when it comes to making a long road trip, the need to ensure that your car is fully checked for any issues before you leave increases greatly. On a long journey, your car will be working a lot harder than on minor journeys, which is why it’s absolutely essential that thorough checks are carried out before you set off to make sure that you don’t run into any trouble along the way. We’ve put together a list of the vital checks and preparations that need to be carried out before embarking on a long distance drive.

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Keep Your Car Owner’s Manual Handy

Your car owner’s manual is the bible of your car, and it can be used as a guide to ensure that the checks you will be making are carried out thoroughly and correctly. Don’t forget to keep the car owner’s manual in your glove box, therefore if anything does go wrong on the journey, you can use it to get the problem sorted quickly. It’s full of information such as how to jump start the car should the battery die or how to use a car battery charger such as those sold by, how to change a headlight bulb and what to do if the engine overheats, so keep it close – you never know when you might need it.

Check Under the Hood

Under the hood of your car is where everything goes on, so it makes sense to check it thoroughly before you set off on any long journey. Check for any leaks that may need repairing before you set off, and make sure that all the battery terminals are clean. Check your drive belt for any signs of wear and tear – if it looks worn, you will need to get it replaced before you set off.

Checking the Fluids

Making sure that the fluids in your engine are topped up properly is essential before setting off on a long distance road trip. Start by checking the engine oil, which you can do by taking out the dipstick, cleaning it and then reinserting it fully. The oil level should appear close to the ‘FULL’ mark – if it’s further down, you’ll need to top it up before you go. You should also check that the other fluids in your car such as transmission fluid, engine coolant and brake fluids are topped up properly – never set off with low engine fluids!

Other Checks

Other things that you will need to look out for before setting off are the condition of the battery, air filter, wipers and lights. If your wipers or lights are looking worn or in bad condition, it is a good idea to repair or replace them before the trip. If you are unsure about the workings of cars, it is advisable to get a professional mechanic to check over your car before you set off to be sure.

We hope you enjoy your trip, and remember to drive safely!