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The Best Advice for Ensuring Your Road Trips are Smooth Sailing

on June 6, 2019 | By Cherimarie Poulos

Image courtesy of Pixabay

The Best Advice for Ensuring Your Road Trips Are Smooth Sailing

When you’re planning a road trip, you want your adventures to be fodder for fond memories. That’s why you choose a location like Carlsbad, CA. In addition to the amazing food, the destination has plenty to offer, from the coast to the downtown village. However, if your vehicle isn’t properly prepared, your trip could become material for real-life nightmares. Here’s how to ensure your road trips are a dream come true.


Plan Practically


If you haven’t owned your vehicle long, or if this is your first adventure in it, becoming more familiar with its capabilities and limitations can help you make wise choices throughout your travels. As an example, if your gas tank holds 30 gallons of gas, and typically gets 25 miles per gallon on the highway, you know you should plan to stop for fuel approximately every 700 miles. If you aren’t sure what your car gets, you can use this calculator to crunch the numbers.


Along those same lines, consider exploring the pros and cons of your particular vehicle. For example, according to Gumtree, the Toyota Camry offers great fuel economy and a smooth ride, but its overall presentation leaves a little to be desired. Knowing your car inside and out can help you stay safe and comfortable on the road.


Bring Things Up to Speed


In order to avoid mishaps during your vacation, make sure your vehicle is in the best possible condition before embarking on your journey. If you’re handy and have some basic tools available, here are a few things you can do yourself.


Fluids first


First and foremost, give your car an oil change. Your owner’s manual should describe what kind of oil to purchase, and you will also need to buy a filter. These instructions can walk you through the task. Once complete, make sure you dispose of the used oil properly. As the Spruce explains, most auto parts stores accept used motor oil and filters for recycling.


Your car has a half dozen additional fluids you should check prior to a road trip — this includes the transmission fluid, radiator, power steering, brake, air conditioning coolant, and windshield wiper fluid. You can click here to learn how to check and maintain each one.


Proper visibility


Visibility is crucial when you’re driving, especially when you’re heading to unfamiliar areas. Being unable to see in rainy or snowy conditions can quickly sour your driving experience. With that in mind, check your windshield wiper blades and replace them as necessary. Similarly, if you have any headlights or turn signals which are out, install new bulbs before you hit the road.


Check tires


Your car’s tires are one of the most important aspects of staying safe on road trips, and there are a few things you need to check. First, examine the tread depth on your tires. As Firestone explains, you can do this simply using a penny, comparing the tread depth with how much of your penny is covered when you insert it into a groove. Then, examine your tires for dry rot, which can appear as fading, cracking, or brittleness. Also, check the tire pressure. You can use this search tool to look up the proper pressure amount for your specific vehicle. Last but certainly not least, be sure to check the condition of your spare.


If you are uncomfortable performing any maintenance on your car, you can connect with a qualified auto mechanic to tend it for you.


Spruce Up Your Space


For your optimal safety on a road trip, take some time to organize your vehicle. Clutter can be hazardous when you’re driving, especially if you’re in a wreck, so pare down and ensure items are secure. As you pare down, give your car’s interior a thorough cleaning. It’ll be that much more comfortable getting into a fresh, clean vehicle when it’s time to roll.


Road trips should be adventurous and fun, not fraught with mishaps. Make sure your vehicle is as ready for exploring as you are with some sprucing up and basic maintenance, and make sure your expectations are practical. That getaway you’ve been dreaming of will be smooth sailing, thanks to your thorough, careful planning.

Cherimarie Poulos

Cheri was born & raised in California. She has lived in San Diego over 20 years, her children were born in the area. She has a strong connection to Carlsbad, in fact one of her daughers was Miss Carlsbad 2005. So she voted herself to be Mrs. Carlsbad. Now the Chief Foodie and Founder of Carlsbad Food Tours! She loves Carlsbad and is happy to share her knowledge about the local history and great eateries in the Carlsbad Village.

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