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Car Maintenance Checklist for Road Trips

As summer approaches, it's natural for many Americans to think about one thing: travel. Of course, every road trip requires planning, but the most important aspect of travel is the ability to travel safely and efficiently.

Your vehicle plays a major role in the comfort and quality of your travel, and that's why, if you're planning a trip, planning and following a maintenance schedule before you travel are important. It's not just your destination and budget that needs to be considered.

Here are a few things to look into your vehicle's maintenance schedule.

Check & Refill Fluids

If you're driving through a harsh American winter or a wet spring, be sure to go do some serious testing before you hit the highway for a few days in a row. Make sure that the other fluids your car relies on are ready to go so that you don’t have to stop by a mechanic during the trip. Check on your:

  • Brake fluid guarantees safe braking
  • Oil to make your engine run smoothly
  • Radiator fluid to avoid overheating
  • Fluid to keep your windscreen clean after all the insect impacts or heavy rain
  • Transmission fluid for a smoother ride when transitioning between gears
  • Power steering fluid so that you continue to enjoy smooth handling

While some it can be greatly inconveniencing when some of the fluids run out, others can be disabled to be corrected by autopilot. You have to make sure this doesn't happen, so be vigilant yourself with check-ups while traveling.

Check the Brake Pads

It's not just the brake fluid that is important for reliable braking, there's also a mechanical component in the form of the braking pad. The most important safety check you can carry out during car maintenance on a long trip is to make sure your braking pads are in good shape. This is true even if you don’t already hear a noise when you're braking.

The timing of a lining replacement will depend on your use. Strong use and improper braking can quickly shorten the life of the braking pads.

Check your Battery

How old is your car's battery? If your battery has kept the car running for two years or more, it's time to check it. Check the battery at least once a year, if not more often than that.

There may be corrosion or other factors that affect battery performance. It's time to check how clean it is, especially the link between positive and negative endpoints. Use it wisely.  If you turn on the air conditioning while your car is parked, it may cause a huge drain on your battery.

Take a Look at Those Tires

After all, it's the part of the car that makes continuous high-speed contact with the road. Of all the parts of your car, the tires withstand the most abuse.

They are important not only for driving on the road but also for improving fuel efficiency. Check your tyres for physical condition and air pressure.

Poor tires lead to fuel inefficiency. Why would you want to pay more for gas than you need to? Just add some air to your tyres to get back on track. It helps your wallet during your trip. And if it’s absolutely necessary to change your tires on the road, you can get a good deal in a used tire shop in New Orleans if you’re on a Louisiana road trip.  

Test the Lights

Regardless of whether you plan to drive at night or not, it's important to ensure that your headlights are also in good working order. Not only is this an important security issue, but also a legal one.

In New Orleans, it's not a crime to have only one rear light, but if you are required by law it is a "crime" to drive with a faulty flashing light. If you're lucky, you will be stopped by the police and will receive only a warning, if not, your trip will simply be added to your budget. In New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana, having one or both of your rear lights on at all times, even in the middle of the night, can cause a traffic ticket.

Check your headlights and check your car's maintenance. If you already know that one or both headlights are a problem, be sure to do the repair now. Be safe on the roads this summer!

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Tags: Car, Maintenance

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