Getting Your Vehicle Ready for a Road Trip
A Quick Checklist to Ensure Safe Travels
Road trip season is almost upon us. Just one more month until the unofficial start of summer, and that means many of us will be loading up the station wagon for a trip to Wally World! Well, maybe not station wagon, and probably not Wally World.
Do you just wing it when traveling? Or do you make sure that your vehicle is properly prepared for the trip? To ensure safe travels, and to minimize the chance that you will need our collision repair services, we put together a quick list for you to give your vehicle the once over. Keep in mind that you will need to plan ahead, some of these can’t be done the night before.
Get Caught up on Maintenance
Vehicle maintenance is often ignored, put off, and all together skipped. Before heading out of town, these things need to be done so you’re not stuck stranded somewhere.
- Oil Change. When’s the last time you had your oil changed?
- Battery Check. Don’t let it die when you’re in the middle of nowhere.
- Air Filters. Replace both the cabin and the engine air filter.
- Wipers and Washer Fluid. Wipers should be replaced twice each year (spring and fall), washer fluid topped off when low.
- Other Recommended Services. Most shops recommend service that is past due.
If you’re an ignorer, procrastinator, or neglector, now is the time to break the habit.
Double Check Your Tires
Blowing a tire while traveling down the highway is bad news. Make sure that your tires are in good shape so that you don’t end up rolling into the ditch.
You can opt for the Abraham Lincoln test, or you can use the horizontal wear bars trick. Never heard of it? Most modern tires come with little bits of tread between the tread. When the tires have worn to their minimum level, these horizontal wear bars are even with the rest of the tire tread. Here’s a picture of some tires that are due to be replaced.
Have those Warning Lights Figured Out
Some vehicles have warning lights that come on for no reason (older rigs at least). If you have had it checked out, and there’s really no reason for the light (maybe a short somewhere) then you’re safe. But if you’ve been putting off having things checked, do it before getting on the road.
Pack the Essentials First
Your essentials are the things that will act as conveniences, and protect you in case of an emergency. First of all, make sure that your trunks essentials are all packed up. Then consider the following for the drive.
- Spare key in case yours is lost.
- Download podcast in case of no service.
- Phone, camera, drone, and laptop chargers.
- Emergency tool kit.
Get it Detailed
Finally, before you head out on the open road, it’s always best to start the trip with a nice clean car. If you have kids, you know that it’s not going to stay clean for long. But you can at least enjoy it for the first few hundred miles.
Make an appointment with Big Sky Collision Center for auto detailing. We’ll ensure that it sparkles, feels, and smells nice and clean for your upcoming trip.
Collision Repair in Billings, Montana
We offer complete auto body repairs in Billings. But our biggest goal is that you’re safe on the road, and you enjoy the drive! If you have been in an accident, or you need some minor auto body work, give us a call at 406-259-6328 and we’ll get you scheduled.