Road Trip Inspection
Before a road trip, people will often triple check their house to make sure it is locked, no gas is left on, all the plants have been watered, and the key for the person who is looking after their pets is in the correct place; then they get into their car without checking it and start driving. Road trip preparation and service is the most important part of any travel endeavor, and the following will help you remember some of the important things people often overlook. First, before you even think about starting the car, make sure you have a roadside assistance program. Triple A will be there for you in the middle of the night when nobody else is.
Start with your tire pressure and tread wear. The average pressure is 35 PSI for normal tires and 51 PSI for low profile. You want to have your pressure about five pounds less than the PSI, because as the tire heats up, the PSI will increase. For standard tires, that means about 31 PSI, and for low profile, 46 PSI should be fine. Stick a quarter into the tread. If it covers any part of Washington’s head, your tread is fine. If it does not, look to replace them. Do not forget to check and make sure the spare tire is as good as the other four.
Your battery has a life of between 3 and 5 years. If it is nearing that limit, replace it. Also, make sure the cables are tight and clean. You would be surprised how many people think their battery has gone dead, only to find out that the cables were just a little loose.
Make sure that your wiper blades are either new, or in great shape. No matter how sunny it is, you will probably need them at some point. Make sure your oil is clean and full. It should be caramel-colored if it is. If it is darker than that, have it changed. Road trip preparation and service is not complete until you have a mechanic check all of your belts. No amount of pre-travel inspection will matter if a belt breaks on you. Make sure to have him check the cooling system before you go. You do not want your car overheating in the middle of nowhere. Now that your mind is at ease about your house, as well as your car, you can relax and enjoy your trip. Drive safely.