Preparing Your Vehicle for a Long Road Trip
Traveling can be stressful. The days leading up to your big road trip are usually overwhelmed by preparing to take off work, making sure everything you need is packed, and making sure your accommodations are in order before you head out. With so much to prepare for, it’s easy to overlook one very important thing – the safety and reliability of your vehicle.
While preparing your car for the long road trip is not the most exciting part of your vacation, it may be the most important. Nothing will replace the images of sunny beaches and palm trees quicker than being stranded on the side of the interstate with a van full of restless children. Don’t let this easily avoidable nightmare become a reality.
While long road trips may not seem any different than everyday driving, long distances can take a toll on just about every part of your vehicle. But don’t worry, there are very simple precautions that you can take that will help take the stress out of driving. By following just three simple steps, you can ensure that your family is safe for the road ahead.
Change the Oil
Perhaps the most important piece of vehicle longevity – the oil change. While they are recommended every 5,000-7,000 miles (see Vehicle Owner’s Manual), there is perhaps no better time for an oil change than before you leave on a long road trip. An oil change is the perfect time to complete a diagnostic check on the other parts of your vehicle that may be of concern. We recommend that you not schedule your oil change the day you plan to leave, rather schedule it in the week or two prior. This will allow us time to order any replacement parts that your vehicle may need.
Check the Tires
The second, but perhaps most important, item to check is your tires. Your tires are very important for proper accelerating, braking, and proper handling of turns. Your tires play an especially important role while driving in slick road conditions (e.g. rain, ice or snow). The best thing you can do is to keep your tires inflated to the recommended levels at all times. Driving on underinflated tires is not only dangerous but can permanently damage your tires and vehicle alignment. However don’t assume that just because you tires are properly inflated that you are in the clear. Most manufacturers recommend a tread depth greater than 2/32 of an inch however certain driving conditions can call for a greater need for tread. You must also check each tire for tread depth and wear. Uneven wear can be a sign of a larger issue with your vehicle.
Check all of the Fluids
There are a lot of fluids in your vehicle and they each play a very important role in ensuring your car maintains its optimal performance. Besides the engine oil, you’ll want to make sure your brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant are all filled and ready to handle stress of a long road trip. Your fluid levels may be the sign a larger underlying issue. For example, low brake fluid may be the sign of a leak in your brake lines or worn brake pads. Also, if you are planning to tow anything on your trip, you’d be advised to check your transmission fluid. Towing can cause a lot of stress on your transmission, especially if you will be traveling up hills. Our service technicians can check all of these fluid levels and quickly and easily notify you of any issues with your vehicle.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. At Glenn’s Freedom Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we understand how important the safety of your vehicle is to you and your family. That’s the main reason we began offering Free Lifetime Oil Changes with every vehicle purchase. We want to help ensure that your vehicle is well-maintained and that you remain happy with your vehicle long after the day it’s purchased. Our service advisors and technicians are properly qualified to answer any questions you may have. Call us to schedule your service appointment today!