Taking on a road trip can be a great way to experience new places and cultures. Despite the inflation, rising gas prices, and the pandemic still lurking, a recent study shows that roughly 60% of respondents in the U.S. said they plan on taking more trips this year. If you are one of those who are already planning your next road trip, know that there are a few things that can tell you if you are not yet ready to hit the road.
You Don’t Have Basic Car Maintenance Tools in Your Trunk
Even if you are not planning on doing any car repairs on your trip, it is still a good idea to have some basic tools in your trunk. This way, you are ready in case you need to do some minor repairs or maintenance on your car. Some essential tools you should bring are a spare tire, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight.
You might also want to bring along some basic car repair tools, such as a screwdriver, a wrench, and pliers. These will come in handy if you need to do some quick repairs on your car. Of course, it is still best to leave the more complicated repairs to the professionals.
Your Car Hasn’t Seen a Mechanic for a Long Time
When was the last time you got your car checked by a mechanic? If you can’t remember, then that’s a red flag. Before going on any road trip — long or short — make sure your car is in good condition. This includes checking the oil level and tire pressure.
Even if you know basic car maintenance, it is still best to have your car examined by a professional. This is to ensure that everything is working properly and that you can avoid any potential breakdowns or accidents while on the road. This is especially true if your car is making funny sounds, smells, or isn’t running like it used to.
It helps if you can find a reliable auto mechanic who can check on your car and make the necessary preparations for your next trip. Look for one that specializes in maintaining and fixing your specific car model. For example, if you have a BMW, find a mechanic working in a trusted auto repair show that handles BMW maintenance and repairs. Finding a factory-trained mechanic to ensure your car gets the required services would also be the best way to go.
You’re Not Familiar With Your Car’s Manual
Many car owners neglect to familiarize themselves with their car’s manual. As a result, they are not aware of the different features and buttons in their cars, let alone their capabilities and limitations. Take some time to read your car’s manual before your trip so you will know how to troubleshoot basic problems.
Let’s say, for example, you’re driving, and suddenly, your “check engine” light turns on. Do you know what to do? If not, you can end up stranded on the road with no idea how to fix the problem. However, taking a quick look at your car’s manual will tell you what the light means and how to resolve the issue.
The same goes for other features in your car that you may not be familiar with. Do you know how to use your car’s cruise control? What about the different settings for your headlights? If not, it’s time to break open that manual and learn about your vehicle before going on a long road trip.
You Are Clueless About Emergency Roadside Services
One of the most important things to have on a road trip is a plan for what to do in case of an emergency. This includes knowing who to call and what services are available to you. Remember that even if you know some car maintenance and repairs, you can never tell when you will need to call for roadside assistance.
Before your trip, find out who to call in case of an emergency. This could be a tow truck service, the police, or the fire department. Have a list of the roadside services available to you, as well as their phone numbers.
Since you are going on a road trip, it would help to keep the contacts of emergency roadside services near your destination. This will come in handy if you run into car trouble while away from home.
This list may be short, but these are just some things you need to check before going on a road trip. By taking care of these things, you can be sure that you will have a safe and enjoyable journey. So, the next time you plan a road trip, remember these things and be prepared for anything coming your way safely!