Have you ever ended up on the side of the road, miles from home, with no cell service – mentally kicking yourself for not being properly prepared for your road trip? We’ve been there too, and can perfectly remember that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. Luckily, situations like this are easy to avoid if you follow a few simple steps to make sure you’re properly prepared!
Before you take on that open road, be sure to:
Have a trusted mechanic inspect your car before you leave. You want to make sure your vehicle is in great shape before you leave on a road trip. If you’re car-savvy, you might be able to do this yourself. If you’re not car savvy, we offer pre-road trip inspections at Longview Auto & Tire that include a safety inspection, top-off of all major fluids, battery test, and A/C performance test. Stop by or call us to schedule your inspection today.
Prep an emergency kit. An emergency kit is a good thing to keep in your trunk at all times. Things we recommend including in this is a first aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, drinking water, jumper cables, and whatever else you think would come in handy in the event of an emergency.
Check your tire pressure and fluid levels. Most gas stations sell a simple pressure gauge that you can use to check your tire pressure. If the pressure is low, you can often find an air hose at gas stations as well. Check your windshield wiper fluid and oil levels. If your oil is looking pretty dirty when you wipe off the dip stick, we recommend getting an oil change before hitting the road.
Bring a map. We rely on our cell phones for many things these days. Indeed - they’re incredible devices! However, there’s always the possibility that you end up in a “dead zone” with no cell service or your phone’s battery runs out and you aren’t able to use your phone’s GPS navigation. If that happens, you’ll be glad you packed a map!
Pack your car wisely. Be sure to pack heavy items (and as many items as much as possible) in your trunk or deep under your seat. If you have to stop suddenly or are in a car accident, items (especially heavy ones) in the car can become dangerous projectiles.
Check to make sure you have all important documents. Keep important documents like your vehicle’s registration, proof of insurance, emergency contact information, roadside assistance numbers, and medical information in the glovebox. This way, all your important documents are in one place, and easy to find if the need arises.
It seems easier to just hop in your car and leave on your road trip without going through this checklist. However, mechanical problems and emergencies on road trips can really put a damper on things and waste a lot of your travel time. Check off everything on this list to make sure you’re prepared, and let’s keep your adventures on the road!