Tuning up for a Long Trip
A long trip in your car will likely uncover hidden problems that have, thus far, gone undetected. The problem with that is you don’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere when these problems make themselves known. A quick tune-up before you leave is the best way to ensure a disaster-free trip.
Starting from the bottom up, take a good look at your tires. Inspect the tread. Is there plenty of wear left, or are you a millimeter away from a popped tire? Check the air pressure and make sure the psi (pounds per square inch) is up to manufacturer’s recommendations.
Make sure that you have tire-changing supplies including the spare tire, wheel wrench, and the jack. Other supplies you should bring include a first aid kit, some emergency food and drinks, space blankets, and a road flare, just in case.
On the outside of the vehicle, check all your lights, including blinkers, and the condition of your mirrors. You may not have noticed if a light is out, but it could be a problem on a dark stretch of road outside the city limits.
Next, go under the hood and check all your basic fluids. Look at the levels and quality of your engine oil (is it time for an oil change?), transmission fluid (does it need a flush?), brake fluid, power steering fluid, and the engine coolant. Make sure your windshield washer fluid is full and check the air filter, battery, and belts while you’re under the hood. Now you should be ready for that road trip.
24 Nov, 2011