Going on any long trip involves an extensive amount of planning and preparation, especially if you’re driving for a long distance. If you don’t prepare your vehicle, your long trip may turn into a short an expensive one.
Create a Checklist
Don’t wait until the last minute. Your vehicle is probably one of the most important parts of your trip since it’s the thing that will actually get you to your destination. A good way to get everything done is to create a checklist. Here are some things that you need to include.
- Check Engine
- Engine fluids
- Filters (oil and air)
- Electrical System
- Heater/air conditioner
- Windshield Wipers
- Spare Tire
- Basic Emergency Kit
Do It Yourself or Take It to a Pro?
This is a no-brainer for most people, because they know right away what they want to do. It all depends on how much you know about vehicles or if you’re willing to learn. The advantage of taking your vehicle to a professional mechanic is that you can usually be sure things are done correctly and thoroughly. While this appeals to most people, some prefer to take matters into their own hands. Preparing your vehicle yourself will no doubt save you money, and if you’re confident in your skills, you’ll probably be even more confident that the work was done right.
It can be a good idea to take your car in regardless of your personal skills, because professional mechanics will have equipment that can do diagnostic tests, which in most cases you can’t do in your garage.
Other Car Preparations
Having your car mechanically sound is the most important part of your vehicle preparations, but you also need to think about the inside of your car. If you’re taking a long trip, then that means you’ll spend several hours in your vehicle. Try to make it as comfortable as possible. Get your music playlists ready, clean out any trash, make sure you have a cup holder you can use, and if you have passengers, consider getting a portable DVD player if your vehicle doesn’t already have one installed. The more comfortable you are on your trip, the better time you’ll have.