As you get ready to hit the highway this summer for your vacation, there are many preparations that need to be made to ensure that your trip is enjoyable. One of the most important preparations that must be made is ensuring that your vehicle is ready to roll. It’s possible that your vacation destination could be hours away and the biggest nightmare for anyone is an unforeseen breakdown due to a lack of maintenance and preparation.
Here are some tips and maintenance ideas that you need to know before you head out for vacation:
Tune-Up and Oil Change
A good tune-up that consists of getting your spark plugs and air filter changed is important. You want your vehicle at it’s peak performance when you are on the highway. Make sure you get ALL of your fluids checked as well to ensure they are full. If you need an oil change, don’t hesitate to get one. Bad oil or no oil in your car is not good on the engine and if you have a long road trip ahead, it could mean doom. A good tune-up can range from $100-$200 depending where you go, but it is worth it. An oil change is about $30 these days.
Lights and Flashers
Make sure that your headlights and tail lights are functioning properly. Brake and tail light bulbs cost only a few bucks and are very easy to replace. Instructions for bulb replacement should be available in your owner’s manual. Check to make sure that your signal lights work too. There is lots of lane changing involved and a simple signal light can dangerous to yourself, your passengers and other drivers on the road.
Check your tires thoroughly to make sure you still have good tread and that the air pressure is good. If you need new tires, don’t hesitate to get some. A good tip when getting new tires is to place the brand new ones in the rear (back tires blow out more often). In case of an unexpected flat tire, make sure that you have the necessary equipment such as a carjack, wheel-lock, spare-tire and a lug nut wrench to replace the flat.
Essential Survival Items
You never know what could happen on the road so it is important to always be prepared. Keep a blanket, flash light, and water in the trunk of your vehicle. You should also have flares and a jumper cable for your battery (a portable battery charger is a good idea too) in your trunk. Don’t forget your AAA if you have any. The nearest gas station could be miles away.