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Americas > Canada > Toronto > Toronto > Useful Info
Submitted on Aug 24, 2021 Useful Info

How to Prepare Your Car for a Cross-Country Road Trip

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The road trip has long been a staple of American culture. It's something that many people have dreamed about doing—going on a journey across the country, interacting with unique people, and seeing places you've never seen before. If you're like me, I love road trips because they allow you to see things in ways that you might not otherwise be able to do it. But road trips are hard on your car: Long distances can cause wear and tear, too much driving can damage your engine or exhaust system, and there is always the risk of getting stranded somewhere if your vehicle breaks down. That's why preparation is key!

1) Check your tires

Before going on a road trip you need to check your tires. Make sure the tires have enough air and that they're not overdue for a replacement. Also, make sure you check your tire pressure before heading out to avoid any road-related issues halfway through your trip. Beware of misaligned wheels or low tread, you will need to get those repaired before you head out on the road.

2) Check your brakes

After you check your tires now you should make sure that your brakes work properly and have enough life left in them. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road for hours with a car that won't stop. Brakes can easily be checked by your local mechanic.

3) Check your fluids

The next step in preparation is checking your fluids, which includes oil and transmission fluid (and spark plugs too). You can use an oil change service place as well but having these checked beforehand will ensure everything works properly. Without the proper amount of fluids or fluids that have gone bad, you could do irreversible damage to your car's engine.

4) Check your battery

If you have a typical car battery it should be good for around three years. If you think your battery is going bad, take it to a mechanic and have them test it. The last thing you want is to go to start your car and have it be dead in the middle of nowhere. That would make for a bad road trip and can be more costly than if you handled the situation before you left.

5) Check your lights and windshield wipers

Before leaving you to want to make sure that your headlights, taillights, and blinkers are all functioning properly. If you find that you have any bulbs out you can either buy the lights yourself and do a DIY install, or you could take it to a local mechanic and have them swap out the bad lights for new lights. While you're at it, you want to make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape. The worst thing that could happen is poor visibility in a storm on the highway. Good windshield wipers will keep you safe and give you much better visibility on the road.

6) Replace your air filter

Before you go on a cross-country road trip, check your car’s air filter. Clear it if necessary in order to keep your engine running smoothly and avoid blowing out tires with the strain of no air pressure from clogged filters. Either you can do this yourself or let your local mechanic handle the job.

7) Check your windshield

If you are going to go on a road trip make sure your windshield is in good shape. If there are any cracks you'll either want to get them repaired or get a full windshield replacement if the problem is bad enough. Cracked windshields are a safety hazard and can be easily and quickly fixed by a local auto glass shop near me.