How to Prepare Your Car for a Long Trip

Nobody wants to spend holiday time looking for a mechanic.  It is vital to have a reliable car for a great summer journey, minimize the risk of breakdowns in advance, and prevent your car from becoming a problem on wheels. Experienced car mechanics from Indy Auto Man told us what to check in the car before a long road. But the best option is to buy a nice, reliable car if your old horse is unfortunately far from the perfect condition. 

Replace Technical Fluids

Change the engine oil if there is a long journey ahead (for example, from Indiana to Florida and back). Or if it was last replaced three thousand miles ago, or even earlier. In urban driving conditions, a car usually does not consume much oil, but with prolonged increased loads on the highway, an oil burner may begin – when the consumption increases from 0.1 to 1 liter per thousand miles. And take some oil with you in reserve. After all, the engine oil brand you use in your car may not be in the first, second, or even the fifth store on your route.

Adjust Wheel Alignment

Over time, any, even the exact alignment of the wheels, goes astray. Therefore, before the trip, it is worth stopping by a car service, where specialists at a special stand will check the wheel alignment angles and, if necessary, make fine adjustments to modern equipment.

With bad alignment, the driver may experience handling problems – the car may pull to the side, wearing out the tires faster than usual.

Renew the rubber bands of the wipers and refill the windshield washer reservoir

After the winter, the rubber on the windshield wipers shrinks, and after the summer, it dries up. Because of this, the wipers begin to clean poorly. This may be dangerous when traveling off-road, where dirt get on the windshield in large quantities.

Therefore, before leaving, check the condition of the windshield wipers and the washer fluid level, replenishing its stocks. Always take a couple of cleaner canisters and make sure that the view is always perfect.

Check Battery Condition

Always check the battery before the trip. Even in summer, because there are a lot of devices that consume electricity in the car. If you need to charge photo equipment, laptop, and even heat the kettle during the move, take a launcher with you. With it, you can revive even the most dead battery and not interrupt the journey, searching for recharging.

Replace Air Filter

Problems with starting the engine and increased fuel consumption may indicate that the air filter is dirty, and the time comes to change it. You can check this by opening the air filter cover under the hood. If you know in advance that it quickly clogs, then take a spare on your trip. This is especially important if your path lies in the mountains. On the US roads, the cabin air filter needs to be changed approximately every 15 thousand miles so that the car does not suffocate.

Customize Headlights

Most people don’t pay any attention to it when they go on a trip. At the same time, there are often drivers on the roads who blind the flow of oncoming traffic due to poorly adjusted headlights. When setting up daytime running lights and fog lights on your own, you need to check the bulbs themselves: their resource varies on all vehicles, but it is always better to replace both, even if one still works at half-power.

Carry Out a Full Inspection

On the long road, one of the engine cylinders can suddenly fail. Or the engine may vibrate due to a malfunction of the power supply or ignition system. 

It is a good idea to check the brake system and replace the pads if their wear is about 50% before a long trip – after all, when driving on the highway, they can work in an increased load mode and begin to wear out much faster.

An emergency solution to such problems will take a lot of time and money, while scheduled diagnostics help identify problems at the initial stage and avoid serious consequences. If you are planning a long trip from Indianapolis this summer, schedule your visit to the Indy Auto Man service center.

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