Terris Little Haven

Retired Nurse | Family Oriented Parent | Pet, Aquatic, Reptile Owner | Passionate Blogger | Tiny House Living Owner And Enthusiast

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Family Road Trip? 5 Essential Car Checks You Must Do First

Family road trips are fantastic because they help make memories everyone will treasure. There’s nothing quite like packing essentials, getting in your car, and hitting the open road to virtually any destination you choose!

The only downside, of course, is if your vehicle lets you down during a road trip. Thankfully, you can minimize the risk of automotive disasters from happening by ensuring you go through the following five essential family car checks before you leave:

1. Ensure Your Service Schedule Is Up-To-Date

Firstly, you must ensure that your car’s service schedule is up-to-date. One cause of drivers needing roadside assistance is that a critical part of their engine, such as the cam belt, was not replaced according to their vehicle’s service schedule.

When your car gets serviced correctly at an auto repair shop, you’ll also have the opportunity to identify any other areas of concern and resolve them.

Preventative maintenance will ultimately save you a lot of time, money and help prevent your car from breaking down during your family road trip.

2. Check Your Tires (Including The Spare)

Your tires are critical safety components, and it’s both essential and a legal requirement to ensure they are fit for purpose. You should inspect the condition of your tires before your road trip and ensure they have plenty of tread and aren’t leaking air.

It also makes sense to conduct these tire checks once a week and get any worn or damaged tires replaced or repaired as soon as possible. Also, remember to perform the same checks on your spare tire.

3. Top Up All Engine Fluids

There are a few essential vehicle and engine fluids that you should check and top-up where necessary:

  • Brake fluid;
  • Windshield washer fluid;
  • Power steering fluid; and
  • Engine oil.

If you find that your engine oil, brake, or power steering fluid requires regular topping up, you likely have a leak somewhere, so it makes sense to get that addressed before you head out with your family on a road trip adventure.

4. Get Your Air Conditioning Serviced

To some people, air conditioning might not seem like an important or even essential function of your car. However, it provides a welcome function on long journeys: keeping everyone inside cool, especially during hot weather.

Moreover, air conditioning helps filter the air inside the cabin, meaning you and your passengers are less likely to have asthma or hay fever flare-ups.

An air conditioning service is generally inexpensive, ensures it works correctly, and is bacteria-free.

5. Wash Your Car Inside And Out

Lastly, giving your car a thorough clean inside and out serves many purposes other than to make your vehicle look in showroom condition.

A clean interior will make the space more inviting for you and your passengers, especially if you must all spend long periods inside it.

Plus, a clean exterior helps protect your paintwork, keeps you safe on the road (as your lights will be more visible to other road users), and will be quicker to wash the next time you clean your vehicle.

Additional Safety Tip

It is also crucial to have easy access to emergency contact information during a family road trip. The open road is full of excitement and adventure but can also bring challenges and emergencies. Whether you encounter an issue or a breakdown with your vehicle, knowing the emergency numbers for the area you’re traveling through ensures that help will arrive promptly. These important numbers include police, fire services, and medical assistance. 

You should also have contact with an expert trucking witness in case you get involved in a roadside accident. Being prepared with these contacts is a necessary step for anyone who prioritizes safety throughout their journey.

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