How to prepare a car for a multi-day roadtrip?

Jadon Lawson
It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Sometimes booking hotels, planning activities and determining a budget can overwhelm even the most experienced traveler. In this case, what should you pay attention to in preparing your car?

Good technical condition is a must

Unfortunately, even the most detailed plan will not help when the technical condition of the car is inadequate. That’s why it’s important to carry out both routine and additional preparations before setting out on a trip.

Check the condition of the tires

Tires are one of the most important components that are responsible for safety during a trip. Therefore, their technical condition must not raise any doubts. 

The first criterion is adequate air pressure. The exact data on this should be on a small label that is attached to the inside of the driver’s door frame.

Also, do not forget to check the tire pressure after driving a longer distance, for example, 1,000 kilometers. It is worth bearing in mind that the load on the car is extremely high, especially during a road trip of several days, when there is a lot of equipment inside or the vehicle is pulling a trailer. 

It is worth remembering to carefully check the condition of the tires during each stop. Any bulges, gouges or other visible damage can get worse as the trip continues. In such a situation, even a small bump on a pothole or curb is capable of effectively puncturing a tire.

Checking fluids

Keeping your vehicle’s fluids at the right level is a fundamental step toward road safety, as well as avoiding damage to individual engine components and costly repairs.

To begin with, you need to check the condition of the transmission oil. If your car is equipped with a traditional tank with a gauge, you should check the fluid level before you leave, and preferably replace it with a new one before your trip. Old specs can collect dirt and debris, and severely reduce the performance and life of the transmission. If you are unable to do the replacement yourself – go to a trusted mechanic. 

Although technologies with all-electric power steering are already available, many vehicles still use hydraulic fluid. This can become contaminated and severely reduce the vehicle’s performance, causing leaks or damage to steering components. Before setting out on a journey, it is a good idea to check the condition of the fluid in the reservoir, which is located under the hood of the car.

Another important substance whose condition must be checked regularly is brake fluid. It is used to create pressure to clamp the brake pads to the rotors. A sign of overuse is a spongy and soft pedal responsible for braking the car.

Before hitting the roadtrip for several days, you also need to check the condition of the engine oil. This is one of the most important elements for the proper operation of the drive unit. Its specificity helps keep the engine compartment clean and reduce the friction that occurs. If you decide to change it yourself, you should change not only the oil itself, but also the filter. The last point is to check the coolant. It helps maintain optimum operating temperature, both at low and high temperatures.

main photo: Schimpf

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