Being prepared when you go on a long-distance road trip is extremely important for your own and your passengers’ safety. If you plan on going on a vacation, or if you need to drive from one place to another for more than 3 hours, you need to check your truck and make sure it is road-ready.
To help you prepare for your trip, we compiled this list of tips on how to check if everything is working properly and to ensure your safety. Follow this list, check if everything is working fine and if needed, take your vehicle to the mechanic to get things fixed.
Check the Tires
The first thing you need to do to ensure a safe drive is to check your tires. If you are changing them every season, check the tread wear and make sure they are not damaged. Every tire has a limit of how many miles you can drive with it, and if you exceed that limit, your trip will not be safe.
You should also see if the tires need to be balanced. You can do that in every tire service and it will cost you between $20 and $100 depending on your location and the service you choose.
Check the Oil
The next thing you need to check is the oil. Change if it is needed, or just top it off. You should always check how much oil you have when the engine is cooled down, so it is better to do it on an early morning. Check the dipstick and see the level of oil you have. There are usually two lines that show how much oil you have left. Don’t forget to wipe the dipstick off first and then insert it again to see the measures correctly. If needed, add more oil or take the truck to the mechanic to change it completely.
Check the Lights
Checking the lights is one of the most important steps when it comes to preparing for a road trip. You need to see if everything is working properly and change the lights if needed. You can do that on your own, following a tutorial for your type of vehicle or just take it to the service.
You should also check to see if the headlights are dim. If they are, the visibility will be worse for you, and driving at night will be harder. There are cleaning products you can use to clean them, and the whole process will not take you more than an hour.
Interior and Exterior
There are things that will make your drive better and easier. If you are planning to stay in the same place and camp, you should look into fridge drop slides as well as some cool portable fridges. On msa4x4.com.au you can find drawer systems that will help you pack and fit more things in your truck, so you don’t have to worry about space. You can also get seat covers that will make the experience better or large side mirrors so you can always be aware of your surroundings.
When it comes to the exterior, you need to check it and see if anything is loose. Sometimes bumpers can detach while driving. Check them, as well as the whole bodywork. Double-check if anything seems loose or if anything is damaged.
Replace Windshield Wipers
We notice the wipers only when it is raining and, when they need to be replaced, we promise ourselves that we will do that as soon as the weather changes. And then we forget that we have to replace them. So, no matter how good or the bad the weather is expected to be, always check and if needed, change the windshield wipers before you start your trip. You should check the rear ones as well.
The visibility is crucial when you have to drive for a long time, so you should also top the windshield fluid and check if the windshield, mirrors, and the rear window are clean. They can get oily in time, so use a product to wipe them inside and out.
Clean the Vehicle
This is something we usually forget or postpone, but you have to clean the vehicle before going out on the road. We keep too many things in our trucks and we forget to throw out any garbage we have in it.
Before hitting the road, always clean the vehicle inside and out. You can take it to the washer, but first, check everything you have inside, check the trunk, and any extra compartments. You can also change the air freshener and your vehicle will look and feel good.
The engine belt is usually checked when we do our yearly vehicle service, but in case you haven’t done that this year, you should check the belt before you hit the road. Most vehicles have one or two belts and they wear out in time. Take your vehicle to the mechanic and tell them to see if everything is still in good condition.
Check the Battery
The battery can die in an instant, and it usually does not give out any warning signs. We buy it, change it and forget when the last time that happened was. So, before going on any long-distance trips, make sure you check the battery and see if it needs to be changed.
It is better to do this now because if something happens while you are on the road, you will have to spend money on a towing company and your whole trip will be affected.
Check the Equipment
After you’ve checked everything about the vehicle, you need to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Even though everything should be fine, you need to check your additional equipment.
Start by checking the spare tire and check to see if it is damaged. You also need the jack, the handle, and the wrenches to change it. It is good to always have some spare engine oil and get some tools as a basic emergency kit. Don’t forget the first aid kit and you should always have a fire extinguisher with you.
These are the most important things you need to do before you decide to take a long trip. If you plan on driving for a long time, it is recommended to take your truck to the mechanic and tell them to check and fix everything. It is better to invest now and get everything ready for the road than to risk things breaking down while you are out in the open.