If you’re planning a summer road trip, you are not alone. In fact, 72% of Americans stated that they would take a road trip in 2021 and that newfound popularity is set to last in 2022. In truth, the results will probably extend into 2023 and beyond.
Whether it’s your first road trip or you’re a seasoned road tripper, several steps must be taken to ensure a safe trip. Likewise, you will want to plan the attractions and schedule to promote the best possible adventures. After all, the road trip isn’t just about the journey.
Perhaps most importantly, though, you must pay attention to the vehicle itself. Otherwise, you could be left facing some very frustrating moments. Here’s a quick guide to confirm that yours is road-trip-ready. When you do, your adventures will be greatly improved.
Check the tires
The first step to getting your car in good health is to check the tires. You will be traveling hundreds, maybe thousands, of miles over the course of your road trip. If the tires are not at the right standards, your comfort and safety could be compromised.
Your vehicle manual should tell you the right tire pressure. Use this info to pump them to the right psi level in the days before your trip. You should also inspect the tires for signs of worn treads or punctures. If required, change the tire or tires. Keeping a spare is also advised.
It is one of the most important steps for maintaining a safe and comfortable ride. Moreover, it can prevent you from encountering a run-in with law enforcers. Conversely, poorly kept tires may also cause damage to other parts of the vehicle.
Consider simple vehicle performance upgrades
The road trip is a great excuse to complete the vehicle upgrades that you’ve contemplated for several months. It can prevent slightly damaged items from experiencing escalating damage. Better still it will make your vehicle far more enjoyable to ride.
Simple engine upgrades are a common solution. A new camshaft can completely alter the performance of your engine to improve your ride and potentially aid fuel efficiency. Moreover, it’s a simple upgrade that can be made even if your road trip is fast approaching.
Other popular upgrades include suspensions and brake pads. If you have some experience in this field, you may be able to complete the upgrades yourself. If not, a local garage will provide the support you require.
Invest in better external lights
Good visibility is essential for all driving activities, but especially when trying new routes. As such, upgrading your lighting situation ahead of the road trip makes a lot of sense. The investment will pay for itself in the long run as the bulbs last longer and use less energy.
New LED headlights are inexpensive and will provide far better visibility. Your tail lights can be upgraded too, although it will probably be a secondary concern. Both of these updates should improve daily driving when you return to work and family activities.
If you plan to incorporate off-road driving into the trip, you should also consider light bars. They, along with other items, can give you an additional boost during those moments. If you don’t think they’ll be needed after your return, they can be rented instead.
Think about tech gadget updates
Quite frankly, there is a long list of car tech features that add very little value to your driving experiences. However, it should also be noted that there are plenty of great tech features. Many of the best ones will be enjoyed to their max during a road trip.
From a driver’s perspective, you may wish to consider parking sensors or cameras. Alternatively, there are plenty of assistive driving tools that can be very useful on the freeway. You’ll enjoy the drive and can get more from the stop-offs too.
When traveling with children, it may be wise to invest in an in-car DVD player. Otherwise, their questions may cause major distractions. This may lead you to miss turns and encounter unwanted delays. Besides, driving with a clear mind is always better.
Clear the air filters
The air filters play a key role in keeping your vehicle in the best possible health. They impact the performance of your engine. When clogged with dirt and debris, it will severely impact the engine’s performance. Now is the time to act.
Changing the air filters in your car is a simple task that can be completed in just an hour. While cleaning is an option, a brand new solution guarantees that your engine is protected. You can also use this as a fresh start and chance to employ better maintenance.
New air filters can reduce emissions, improve fuel efficiency, and prolong the engine’s life. By preventing damage to the engine, it can also stop the spread of problems to other parts of the vehicle. Your road trip is far more enjoyable when you remove those fears.
Put the right legal documents in place
Even after taking all of the necessary precautions, you cannot rule out the possibility of problems surfacing. With this in mind, it’s equally vital that you protect yourself as well as the vehicle through a range of documents. This can include paperless files.
First and foremost, you should check that all intended drivers are named and covered for insurance purposes. Otherwise, you could be forced to take on all of the driving. You must also check that your roadside recovery will protect you in the states you are visiting.
It’s not a bad idea to use the road trip as a chance to check all of the other documents that you need for daily driving. While it doesn’t impact the ride itself, you should find that your habits behind the wheel are greatly improved due to reduced stress.
Furthermore, it’s good to feel protected should you need it, and should another incompetent or misguided road user throw a wrench into your plans. With an effective car crash lawyer in your court you can at least gain the peace of mind that any collisions can be worked through and compensated for.
Check all fluid levels
Your vehicle needs various fluids to maintain a smooth operation. For extra care and safety, you should pack all of the required items in the trunk. Nevertheless, it is equally crucial to top up the fluids before departing. It’s one less job to complete while you’re away.
Engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and antifreeze are the four items that you will need to focus on. If you are unsure of how to top them up, you can find online tutorials to teach you how. Paying a garage to do this for you feels like a needless added expense.
As with many of the tasks in this guide, it’s not just a case of improving your comfort on the road trip. It will additionally give you added confidence behind the wheel, which can translate to a far better vacation. Frankly, that’s the least you deserve.
Get it cleaned
Finally, you must take this opportunity to get your vehicle thoroughly cleaned. Of course, it will attract dirt and grime over the coming days. Nonetheless, cleaning it before the trip makes it feel like a brand new car, which will heighten your excitement.
In addition to cleaning the exterior, you should consider cleaning the insides or hiring a valet service to do it for you. Aside from making the vehicle look and feel new, it will make it less cramped. In turn, drivers and passengers will enjoy far greater comfort.
For the best results, you can consider additional steps like cleaning the air vents. While the immediate focus will be on your road trip, the benefits can be seen long after you return. From start to finish, it will be the best road trip ever.
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