Getting Your Car Roadtrip Ready

Getting your car roadtrip ready is the essential first step to any vacation. Proper care, maintenance and repairs before you set off on your extended road trip can be essential to a safe and enjoyable journey.

Check the brakes

If your car is making unusual squealing noises, or any other odd sounds, you may want to inspect it before your long trip. These noises can indicate worn brake pads, a problem that can be dangerous if it isn’t addressed immediately. If your brake pedal feels spongy when pressed, this could mean that your car’s braking system is low on fluid and should be topped off.

Inspect Tires

To ensure your tires are properly inflated for smooth, safe and fuel-efficient driving, check the tire pressure before departing on your trip. While you’re at it, you may also want to check on the condition of the tire tread by using the penny method. Place a penny upside-down between the treads of your tires. If you can see the top of Honest Abe’s head, it may be time to replace your tires. Next, check your car’s spare tire and make sure it has enough pressure to drive safely if needed.

Ensure Lights Are Working Properly

We all want to avoid getting pulled over for a burned out headlight, taillight or blinker. To avoid this, turn on your car and leave it in park. Then walk around the car and look for any burnt out lights. Repeat the process with your left and right turn signals while holding down the brake pedal so you can check the condition of your brake lights.

Top Off Fluids

Before heading out on a long road trip, it’s important to maintain the fluids in your car. Your vehicle’s oil, radiator and steering fluids brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and windshield wiper fluid all help keep your engine running smoothly – which is crucial to having a great experience on the open road. Each car is different and these levels usually depend on mileage. Because of this, consider how far you’ve driven since your last inspection and how far you will be going for your trip. It is never a bad idea to pack a little extra as well just to be safe.

Be Prepared

You never know when your car is going to break down, so you should always be prepared. Keep these 5 items in your vehicle at all times and you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way..

  1. Tire iron and jack. Don’t forget the tools to change your spare! A tire iron and jack should be part of your roadside kit in case you get a flat.
  2. Roadside kit. These kits are designed to keep you safe and help get you back on the road for most situations. Emergency roadside kits should include jumper cables, clamps, gloves, screwdriver, a flashlight, duct tape and extra batteries – just in case!
  3. Tire pressure gauge. A flat tire can happen, make sure you’re prepared to check if you expect your tire pressure is low. Don’t forget to check the spare too!
  4. Cell phone charger. We know you have one anyway, but make sure you keep one on your car. You never know when you’ll have to call roadside assistance with a 5% battery.
  5. Snacks. These are essential for any roadtrip – water included! However, it can also come in handy if you’re stuck on the side of the road for a while. Remember to stay hydrated — especially in the summer!

We’re here to help get your car roadtrip ready when major service is needed. At C&G Auto and Truck, we offer a wide range of automotive services, including everything from oil changes and battery replacements to serious repairs. Give us a call at 843.839.3691 to schedule an appointment with us today before your big trip!