Essential Car Maintenance Before Your Next Road Trip

Planning to enjoy a road trip for a summertime getaway with your family? Jumping in your favorite car for a Fourth of July beach trip with friends? If so, it’s obvious that you’ll be sharing the road with a wide variety of excited road-trippers.

To make your upcoming road trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible, we have assembled a special maintenance guide for your car. It is important to take care of your car so that it can do the same for you.

Below are the five most important vehicle maintenance services that you need to carry out. Prior to heading out on a long road trip, make sure you reach your destination without a single hitch.

1. Adjust the Suspension and Steering 

Apart from entertaining your kids, there’s so much more to a smooth road trip. It doesn’t mean you need to ignore your children. We have the best tip for your children too! 

Before moving ahead, check out these crafty kid-friendly games as well as some road trip activities. They are actually a lot of fun for your entire family. 

Now coming to the actual maintenance part. If you wish to avoid a bumpy trip at any cost, keep an eye on a few random issues. This includes damaged shocks or struts, loose steering parts, and broken or worn-out mounts/bushings. 

Also, vehicle swaying or bouncing could easily throw a wrench in your road trip plans. It is another common reason for an awfully bumpy ride. We highly recommend that you point your dash in the direction pointing towards a professional. 

A professional will examine your car’s steering plus the suspension system to make sure your drive will be a smooth one. If he finds any defective part that cannot be repaired, he might recommend you to an auto parts dealer such as Sunway auto parts wholesales.

2. Examine Your Alignments & Tires 

Do you know what’s the most common cause behind drivers calling roadside assistance? It’s getting an unexpected flat tire. 

To prevent such a dreadful experience from happening, make sure a trained technician inspects your tires and alignments. The inspection process should also include the spare. Using a bright LED light during the inspection process can clear out many hidden damages in your tires. 

Among other common things, here is what a tire looks like:

  • Tire Pressure: The inspector will determine whether the tire pressure is set to what’s written in your owner’s manual? An under or overinflated tire will surely lead to a variety of issues during a long road trip. Some of the common ones are premature wear, bumpy ride, overheating, or even a tire blowout. 
  • Tire Wear: Another important thing is to make sure that your tire tread is in good condition. You can’t depend on your tires if they lack enough deep tread. Or if there’s too much wear to gain road traction. 

A tire inspection could also reveal another important issue that is misalignment. This problem can greatly decrease the lifespan of your tires along with reducing fuel efficiency.

3. Check & Maintain Your Exhaust System

Ever thought of checking the condition of your car’s exhaust system? Well, the middle of nowhere is not at all the right place to regret not checking your exhaust system. 

A faulty exhaust system can be a lot more painful than you imagine. It could mean poor fuel efficiency, decreased power, and improper venting. This can cause the accumulation of the poisonous gases that your engine produces.

Checking your exhaust system is even crucial if you’ve been hearing engine noises. Such as popping and hissing. Such noises could signal major problems with the exhaust manifold, tailpipe, muffler, or catalytic converter. Also, if you’re not hearing any such engine noises, it’s still a good idea to inspect. A technician looking at your car’s exhaust system before a long trip ensures a successful journey.

According to Cars.com, cars older than five years should have their exhaust systems checked by a professional. The inspection should be carried out every year or two, even if nothing feels or sounds bad. After all, who wants to exhaust themselves by having to get a broken-down car fixed during their favorite family vacation.

4. Give Your Car’s Brakes a Break 

One of the most critical safety features of your automobile is the braking system. But like the majority of other car parts, this system can overheat and put your entire family at high risk. The case can get even worse if you forget its service after a while.

To enjoy a worry-less road trip, make sure the braking system is in tip-top condition. Hire an inspector before you and your family hop in the car. Take this step seriously as you never know what kind of conditions you might face on a long road trip. Ranging from stop-and-go city traffic to animals crossing and of course the desert highway. You never know where you’ll face any major issue. 

A thorough and in-depth brake checkup can get to the bottom of brake warning signs. Some of the most common and notable ones are grinding, steering-wheel shaking, squeaking, and sponginess upon the application of the brake pedal. An ideal examination of the brake system includes checking pads, drums, hoses, rotors, and brake fluid.

5. Perform an overall General Maintenance

Last but not least, never ignore or overlook the seemingly little items. This could put a serious roadblock in your road trip. Apart from other major things, a professional technician can check the following things in your car:

  • Fluid levels (engine oil and coolant) 
  • Spark plugs
  • Cabin, fuel, and air filters
  • Battery charge

Take Away 

Once you address all these five major maintenance tasks—no matter if they result in tweaks, repairs, or even replacements—you can truly enjoy your road trip. Need a pro tip? Take care of each and everything with a Complete Vehicle Inspection at regular intervals. It will keep your car-related worries at bay, regardless of how many road trips you plan every year.