Whether you and your family are going abroad for the weekend or planning an extensive vacation, a long road trip requires careful preparation to avoid unnecessarily breakdowns. Cars are built to be more reliable today than ever.
But, even with proper maintenance, parts can still fail. Fortunately, by planning ahead and taking the right steps, you can reduce your chances of breaking down. You can even fix minor problems yourself after you’ve pulled your car to the side of the road. Here are few important tips you should do to get your vehicle ready for the road trip abroad.
Two Weeks Before You Leave
Take your car to a trained auto mechanic at least two weeks before leaving for your vacation. A lot of drivers wait until the last day before visiting the repair shop. That’s a bad idea. If your vehicle needs repairs or replacement parts, your mechanic might need more than one afternoon to do the work. Plus, auto repairs aren’t infallible; things can go wrong. When they do, it’s usually within the first 150 miles. Giving yourself a couple of weeks to “test drive” the repairs allows plenty of time to have them fixed if problems occur. Ensure you have adequate roadside cover from a company that specializes in roadside emergencies like Spokane Towing.
Prepare Your Roadside Emergency Kit
Even with the best preparations, you can find yourself stranded by the side of the road. For example, you might get a flat tire, your battery may unexpectedly fail, or you might be involved in a traffic collision. Pack a flashlight, bottled water, hazard flares, and jumper cables. You should also have a spare cell phone battery, a small pad of paper and extra pens. That way, if you are involved in a traffic accident, you can take notes and write down the other driver’s information.
A Few Quick Fix Essentials
Any long car trip requires carrying a few extra auto supplies. Your vehicle should already have a spare tire and a small jack in the trunk. You should also pack a few bottles of motor oil and transmission fluid. Plus, in addition to the items in your roadside emergency kit, pack a can of tire sealant, a few roles of electrical tape, and basic tools, such as a screwdriver and pliers.
One last note about the small jack in your vehicle’s trunk. Test it before leaving your house. Often, they’re designed for portability rather than strength. For larger vehicles, the jack may not be sufficient; in some cases, using it may even be dangerous.
Preparing for that long road trip abroad can be time consuming task. Being prepared and covering all your bases and keeping up with the car maintenance will give you piece of mind for the journey ahead.
Taking your car on a long road trip should be worry-free. But, you need to plan ahead in order to avoid problems. Visit your mechanic a couple of weeks before leaving, replenish your roadside emergency kit, and pack a few extra auto supplies. If something goes wrong while you’re on the road, you’ll be better prepared to resolve the issue.