Traveling long distances is sometimes unavoidable. If you choose to go by car or you need to take your car with you for some reason, you want to make sure you’re avoiding damaging your vehicle. Adding mileage and braving the elements comes with its fair share of risks. AAA even reports that over half of all the vehicles on the road are at a high risk of breakdown.
You take great care of your car throughout the year. Don’t become another roadside statistic by failing to take proper care before your next trip across the country. Basic vehicle maintenance will go a long way to keeping you and your vehicle safe the next time you head out on the open road. Keep reading for the complete guide to long-distance travel in your car.
Change the Oil and Filter
First of all, you always need to be up to date with your oil change and filter change. Depending on your type of vehicle, you might need to do this more often than you think. You should get an oil change every 3,000 miles or every three months depending on what comes first. If you have a specialty, luxury car, this might be more often.
Changing your oil filter can usually be done ever 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Again, your mechanic can give you specialized information on the best timeline for your vehicle. When in doubt, change your oil and filter before a big trip just to be safe.
Ship Your Car
If you don’t need to physically drive your car, it might be smart to ship it instead. Shipping your car with a professional auto shipping expert ensures you don’t have to worry about your car getting from Point A to Point B. With different options including covered transport to open transport, your car will get there without the damage or extra mileage. Check the car shipping calculator from Executive Auto Shippers to see how much it will cost to ship your vehicle.
Protect Your Headlights
Your headlights take a lot of damage, especially on the highway. Make sure they’re safe by covering them with a protective sheet. This will keep the headlights from being covered in bugs and other debris when you’re zooming down the highway.
In addition to protecting your headlights, make sure they’re clean and functional. Over time, the sun damages the glass on your lights and makes them less effective. By cleaning them regularly or using a professional, you can keep your headlights from fogging up over time. Finally, if you suspect one or both headlight is going out soon, get them replaced before your trip to avoid any accidents.
Check the Overall Condition
Immediately before you take to the road, check your car for any signs of problems. You might notice your tires are getting low or that your windshield has a hidden crack. All of these things can be fixed before you start your trip. Putting off fixing small problems might seem harmless, but it could lead to a catastrophe if you aren’t careful.
Check your tires, tire pressure, washer fluid, cables, heating, and air conditioning all before you leave your home. If possible, visit the mechanic for a routine tune-up to see if there are any problem areas you might have overlooked.
Finally, no matter how prepared you are, things do happen. Packing an emergency kit is the best way to keep yourself protected on the road. This kit should always be in your car in case you run into a problem. It should include both things to help if you get into a mechanical problem and also emergency medical problems.
Pack a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, jumper cables, and food and water. You never know what might happen on the open road. Your emergency kit will give you much-needed peace of mind no matter what happens.
As you can see, your car needs some preparation before you go on that long-distance trip. Traveling by car is a great way to get from place to place while taking in the sights, but it also comes with some risks. Don’t get caught off guard. Follow these steps above to ensure you’re safe on the road.