Pre-Trip Checklist: Don’t Get Caught Unprepared

Shutterstock

Before you hit the road for a trip, whether it’s for holidays, vacation, or just a last-minute trip, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is ready to roll. Run through our pre-trip checklist and make sure everything is locked and ready to roll out!

Get a Tune Up

Your engine needs regular tune-ups to keep running at maximum efficiency. This is a great way to keep yourself in the loop about what’s going on with your vehicle. You’ll want a mechanic to take a look at components like brakes, tires, belts, hoses, power steering, and other vital parts of your engine to make sure they’re all set and ready to roll. These are the components that most commonly wear out, so it’s important to keep tabs on them and replace them when it’s time.

Another vital part of your engine to keep an eye on is the battery. If your battery isn’t charged up, you won’t be able to crank your car up. That’s why you need to make sure your battery is full and ready to hit the road before you take off on a long trip.

Roadside Kit

Make sure you bring a roadside kit with you on any trips. This should include all of the basics, like jumper cables for when your battery dies on you. These kits should have roadside traffic cones to alert other drivers in case you need to pull to the shoulder. They should also include things like a screwdriver, a flashlight, a jack, a tire iron, and a spare tire.

These tools can be a literal life-saver in some scenarios. If you blow a tire on the highway, being able to pull over and swap over to a spare can be a massive time-saving measure to get you back on the road. You also don’t have to worry about paying for a tow truck.

Beat the Heat

When you’re driving in the hottest part of the year, make sure you’ve got a sun visor in the car with you. Consider cracking your windows slightly to help alleviate the greenhouse effect, too. No one wants to get into a blisteringly hot car on a summer afternoon, after all.

You could also consider getting your windows tinted to help deflect more of the sun’s rays. The difference in internal temperatures between a car with tinted windows and a car without is tremendous.