Recently, we wrote an article about the ultimate Idaho road trip. But lots of our customers ask us about how to take care of their vehicle when traveling that far. After all, preparing yourself for a large trip doesn’t just include packing clothes and food but caring for your car as well! Below are ten things you should do for your car before you hit the road.
Check Oil and Filter
You don’t want to hit the road without first checking your oil levels and whether you’re due for an oil change. It’s also important to look at your filter. If you need an oil change, it’s better to do it before you hit the road than hoping for a place along the way.
Tire Pressure and Condition
No one wants a flat tire on a road trip. Even though you may be one call away from a tow truck, sitting on the side of the road is no fun. Therefore, you want to look at the condition of your tires, pump them up, and pack a jack and spare in your trunk just in case.
It is highly important not only to check your oil levels but to check the other fluids in your car as well. If you’re running low or need a change, it’s better to have it done locally by someone you trust to ensure your car runs smoothly the entire trip.
A hose leak could lead to some serious problems with your car over time so it’s important to check all your hoses before hitting the road for wear and tear. If you find any, having the hose changed out is your best option to ensure the safety and longevity of your car.
Belts can be a serious pain to change especially when they break during a long trip. That’s why having your belts looked over before starting your trip is ideal. Most cars have one belt that controls the A/C, the alternator to charge the battery, water pump to cool the engine and the pump for power steering. If this bad boy were to break, you wouldn’t be having a good day.
Check the Engine
This is probably a no-brainer to most people, but the engine is kind of an important part of a car. After all, if the engine were to fail, there wouldn’t be much you could do roadside. That’s why having a local auto shop look over your engine could either make or break your trip.
Most people that have brake-related car accidents admit they heard noises from their brake pads and didn’t get them looked out. Driving on the highway where higher speeds are common could be a recipe for disaster if your brakes were to not work. Therefore, it is prudent to check your brakes before speeding down the freeway to your first destination.
Lights and Other Electrical Parts
This is kind of a two-pronged check. Having lights out on your vehicle is a quick way to get a citation from an officer AND having lights that work is so important. The darkness at night in Idaho’s forests can be insane so ensuring your high beams work before heading out is a great idea.
Test the Battery
Although most people in Idaho are extremely friendly and will gladly jump your car in the case of a dead battery, it’s best not to rely on that. Instead, check the charge of your battery beforehand and, if low, bring it in to a local auto shop to have it charged overnight.
Pack an Emergency Kit
When all else fails, packing an emergency kit is a great way to make sure you’re prepared for all circumstances. After all, things happen and sometimes very unexpectedly at that. That’s why packing a kit with some car essentials like oil, washer fluid, grease, jumper wires, tires gauge, tire sealant spray, a flashlight, rags, gloves, basic tools, coolant, and even a flare gun is ideal.
Also, be sure to pack other things like water, blankets, a first aid kit, energy bars, proteins like beef jerky, and even a solar phone if possible as well because being stranded with nothing is the worst thing that can happen.
In the end, the most important thing is to have your car looked over by a company you trust before venturing out across the Gem State. At Meridian Automotive, we can look over all your car’s necessities and tell you exactly where you stand for a trip this large; no hidden costs or gimmicks included. So, give us a call today and let us help you check off your car’s prep list for the Ultimate Idaho Road Trip today!