Should I Have My Car Checked Before a Long Trip?

Preparing for a road trip takes more than packing enough snacks and clothes. You need to make sure the car will take you to your destination without any road hiccups.

Here are some car maintenance services to check before embarking on a long trip.

1. Examine the fluid

Replace the filters and top off all the low fluids. Check the level of engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering, and windshield washer fluid. If the next oil change is close, consider doing it before the trip. Confirm if your car's engine coolant (antifreeze) tank is filled to the level recommended by the car manufacturer. Over time, coolant can become acidic, so you may want to have your coolant tank checked for rust. A rusty tank could hurt other parts of the car, like the radiator or the hoses.

2. Battery

Ensure your battery is fully charged before embarking on the trip. Start your car and look at the headlights to see if the battery is still good. If they are dim, the battery needs more power to work properly. You may want to change the battery before your trip. If revving the engine makes the headlights brighter, the alternator isn't putting out much or any charge. If the headlights stay bright, the battery is healthy and robust.

Clean your battery with a mixture of a little baking soda and water.

3. Examine the tires and alignment.

Ask a trained mechanic to check on the tires. Ignored flat tires will have you calling for roadside assistance. Confirm if the tires have the correct pressure as per your car. Tire inflation will affect the amount of fuel consumption, and you'll spend more.

You might also consider tire rotation if you notice uneven wear.

4. Check the brakes

Squealing sounds from your car's brakes could mean the brake pads are worn. Have a professional mechanic confirm that the brakes need to be replaced before the road trip.

Start taking steps to ensure your car is in good shape before a road trip, or you might have to spend your vacation in a repair shop. We invite you to bring your vehicle to Torque Automotive LLC today for inspection before taking that road trip.