9 Things You Need to Check On Your Car Before A Road Trip
If you’re heading out on a road trip, the last thing you want are unexpected mechanical or tire issues. Before hitting the road, be sure to check these 9 basic components on your vehicle to make sure it’s ready for the road.
Take a walk around your car to give each tire a visual inspection for any general damage, nails, a potential flat, or low tire pressure. Also make sure the tread wear on your tires are even and the tread depth is within a safe measurement. You can easily check your tires tread depth with a penny! Place the penny with Lincoln’s head pointing downward in the tread grooves. If the tread is below the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. Tires also come with tread wear indicators. If the tread is even or below the indicators, it’s time for new tires!
2. Tire Pressure
Before driving your car, check the PSI (pounds per square inch) reading of your tire pressure on each tire, using a tire pressure gauge. Not sure what the PSI reading for your tires should be? Easily find out by checking the placard located on the driver’s side door jamb.
Do a test for each set of lights: headlights, brake lights, high beams, directional lights, and fog lights. Turn on the lights and take a walk around your car to make sure all the light bulbs are working.
To test the brake lights, grab a friend for help. One person should sit in the vehicle pressing on the brake when it’s safely in park, while the other person walks around the vehicle to inspect each brake light on the rear of the vehicle.
4. Air Filters
The air filters in your car prevent dust and debris from getting into the engine and cabin of your vehicle. Be sure your air filters are in good condition and replace them if necessary.
5. Fluid Levels
Check and top off the fluid levels for the six essential fluids for your vehicle: oil, radiator, brake, power steering, transmission, and windshield washer fluids. These fluids are necessary to make sure your vehicle is running smoothly.
6. Windshield Wiper Blades
Test out your windshield washer fluid and windshield wiper blades at the same time! Make sure there are no streaks left behind and that they’re fully cleaning your windshield. Also do a quick visual exam for any major cracks or other debris.
7. Air Conditioning and/or Heater
Turn on and test your A/C and then your heat to make sure they’re both working properly. If not, you may need a charge for your A/C, or a component repaired for your heat.
Take a test drive and see how your brakes respond. If you hear any grinding sounds, feel a vibration when applying the brake, or if anything in general feels off, have a technician inspect your brakes and if needed, replace them.
9. Roadside Emergency Kit
Although it’s not an actual component of your car, be sure to pack a roadside emergency kit, should you find yourself in an unexpected situation. Be sure your kit includes items such as first-aid supplies, water, a flashlight, non-perishable snacks, phone charger, emergency flares, basic tool kit, and more.
Most of all, be prepared and have fun if you’re hitting the road this fall. If you need assistance making sure your vehicle is road ready, call or come by Postle’s Tire Barn. We’re located in Tuscaloosa on Jug Factory Road behind McDonalds.
Postle Tire Barn’s automotive technicians are happy to introduce themselves and help you continue your life-long relationship with your vehicle. Postle Tire Barn is a family owned and operated tire and automotive repair shop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We’ve been West Alabama’s number one choice for wheel and tire services for more than 40 years. Contact us today!
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