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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Chmielewski

Road Trip Checklist — What to Do Before You Get Behind the Wheel

Planning a long drive across the country? Maybe you’re heading south for the winter. No matter your plans, you should always take a close look at your vehicle before you tack on miles. The last thing you want is to break down far from home with no way to get help.

Before the family piles in the car, take a look at this road trip car checklist.

Your Complete Road Trip Checklist

Ready to hit the road? Be sure to go through this list first.

Oil change: If you're planning a long drive, you'll want to change the vehicle’s oil before you leave.

Fluid top-off: Take a look at all of your fluids to ensure they're at optimal levels, including transmission, radiator, brake and wiper fluid.

Tire check: Look at your tire tread for bald spots, and ensure each tire has the recommended pressure. You should also double-check that you have a spare available.

Light change: Look over your headlights, brake lights and turn signals, and replace any burned out bulbs. If your headlights are hazy, ask your mechanic about a glazing treatment, which can provide better clarity when driving at night.

Wiper inspection: Turn your windshield wipers on and make sure they're working properly. If you haven't changed your wipers recently, you should do so before you leave.

Brake examination: Functioning brakes are a critical part of any trip. Before you leave, have the pads and rotors checked. New parts will ensure you can stop suddenly if needed to avoid a collision.

Battery test: You don't want your battery to die while on the road. To test it before you leave, start your car and look at the headlights. If they're dim, you'll want to change it.

Defroster tune-up: If you're driving in cold weather, you'll want working defrosters. If they're not functioning properly, it could mean a dying battery, not enough antifreeze or bad wiring.

Schedule a Check-Up Before Your Road Trip

Car maintenance before a road trip is essential. While there are plenty of things you can look at before you leave, a check-up with your mechanic is key to ensuring a stress-free drive. A qualified professional, like those at Muncy Restoration Works, can fix any issue, big or small, that could put a damper on your vacation.

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