Spring Break Road Trip Maintenance
Get your car ready for that Spring Break Road Trip!
Are you thinking of traveling for spring break? Maybe those travels include a road trip with friends, or driving away from the cold to some place warmer. Wherever your destination, if you plan to take your car, you are going to want to make sure it is in peak performance before leaving home.
#1 – Do a visual check of your vehicle
Take a couple minutes to physically walk around your vehicle. See if you notice anything that doesn’t look right. Take this time to notice any dings or scratches before embarking on your journey. You might want to take this time to make sure your owner’s manual is in your glove box as well.
#2 – Check Lights
Turn on your vehicle and check that your headlights and high beams work, tail lights are in good condition, and both blinkers (Front & Back) and break lights function properly. You may even want to check your interior lights as well and the lights above your license plate.
If your headlights are looking a little dingy try cleaning them yourself with this video or come on into our dealership for headlight restoration.
#3 – Check Tire Pressure & Tread
You are going to want to make sure your tire pressure is at the perfect pressure point for your vehicle – specified in your owner’s manual. The wrong pressure can wear out your tires improperly and reduce your gas mileage. Check out this video to see how to change your tire.
While you are at it, check the tread on your tire. Proper treat allows for better stopping ability and general mobility.
Watch this video to help show you how to check your tire tread.
And watch the video below to learn how to check your tire pressure.
#4 – Check Fluids
Make sure to check all your vehicle’s fluids. These are essential and being low on many of these can put you and your passengers in danger.
Power Stirring fluid
Transmission Fluid (If your vehicle has a sealed transmission, you will need to bring it into your local dealership to be checked)
Watch this video to learn how to check these first 4 fluids.
**Note: To make sure you do not get a false reading when Checking your oil, remove the dipstick – clean off all oil with a rag or paper towel, then reinsert the dipstick. Remove and check where the oil line is. This ensures a more accurate reading then just checking the dipstick the first time you take it out.
#5 – Engine Air Filter
If you have the time, you should check you engine air filter. This is extremely important for your vehicle to run properly. You can see how to do that yourself by watching this video.
#6 – Wiper Blades
This is very important! Especially with it being Spring time, we are likely to start seeing more rain, and as you travel through different cities and states on your trip, you never know what you may encounter.
When I was younger, I was driving back from College early to surprise my parents, I did not inspect my wiper blades before starting my 6-hour drive. I ran into a massive rain storm at 5 in the morning and as I was driving down the highway, my driver’s side wiper blade flew off! I could barely see the white line on the side of the highway, but I used that as a guide to find an exit (Thankfully only a quarter of a mile away) where I was fortunate enough to find at a gas station that sold wiper blades. Thankfully the man at the counter was able to help me attach my wiper blade back on, or else I would have been hopeless! So, make sure to check your wiper blades and know how to attach new ones.
Inspect the rubber portion of the blade for any portion that may be coming apart or has any nicks in it. If your blades are streaking, you should wipe them down with rubbing alcohol to clean them.
You may want to think about Using Rain-X or other similar products on your windshield in case you run into rain. A product that help bead the water on your windshield aids in visibility greatly!
Check out this video for Wiper Blade care.
#7 – Road-Trip Proof your Interior
Whether you are driving yours kids or other friends, there are bound to be some spills, or muddy shoes. Think about using Scotchguard on your seats and carpet. Watch the video below to learn how to use Scotchguard on your vehicle’s interior.
You may also want to think about investing in All-Weather floor mats to keep any mud, sand, or water from getting to the carpet on your vehicle. Wet floors not only decrease the value of your vehicle, but if too much liquid gets on the floors, it can seep through and begin to rust your undercarriage.
Consider adding a trash bag to your car if you do not already h ave one. Trash from snacks, or other things can build up quickly and to keep your small car space clean and organized can be easier when you have a trash bag ready to go!
#8 – Gas up!
Before your road trip – make sure to fill up with a fresh tank of gas. This can make for a less stressful morning when you are trying to leave, and assures you won’t run out of gas before your hit the highway.
#9 – Vehicle Emergency Kit
Make sure you have a proper Road Side Safety kit in your vehicle to aid in any issues you may have on the road. Check out this video that shows the components of a great Vehicle Emergency Kit. The only thing I would add is a blanket – especially if you are traveling to or through colder climate.
If you don’t have the time to make one yourself, then I recommend purchasing one such as any of these.
road side emergency kit.jpg
#10 – Wax-up the Exterior
If you have time, you may want to think about getting your vehicle waxed before heading out on your trip! It will help protect your vehicle’s exterior and make it harder for bugs to get stuck to your headlights and the back of your side mirrors while driving down the highway. Watch this video below to learn how to do it yourself!
#11 – The most important part – SNACKS!
Thinking about these ahead of time can save you money, calories, and fend off a “hangry” spouse! Check out our previous blog post here about healthy snack options for your car ride.
#12 – Entertainment
No one wants to sit in the car for hours with nothing to do. Make sure to think about what you will bring ahead of time so you don’t forget. Maybe it’s a bunch of DVD’s to watch, or Game Boys for the kids (Don’t forget extra batteries!), or a new music playlist to jam out to with your buddies.
Check out our previous blog post for some fun car activities. (Bonus: They’re screen-free!)
Don’t want to do this all yourself? Or simple do not have the time? Bring your vehicle into our dealerships and let us do it for you! We’d love to help you out.
Feel free to check out our service specials here.
Now you know all the things you should do before hitting the road on your road trip, and since you won’t have to worry about your car, you can focus on having a blast on your vacation!
If you have any other tips you would like to add to this list – comment below!