Getting Your Car Ready for a Spring Road Trip

Car on asphalt road in summer

Spring is nearly here, which means better weather and more opportunities to take road trips! However, before you hit the road, make sure your trip will be smooth and hassle-free. One of the best ways to do this is to perform a vehicle check-up and some basic maintenance before you leave. A little foresight and preventive care can go a long way in avoiding issues that can disrupt your plans!

These six tips will help you have a safe trip without any unwanted excitement—like breakdowns or accidents.

  1. Check Your Battery
    Your battery should be in good condition and able to hold a full charge while you’re on the road. If you have a battery tester at home, check the charge, or schedule a battery test at your mechanic or an auto parts store.
  1. Check Your Tire Tread and Air Pressure
    Flat tires and blowouts are two of the most common reasons for breakdowns on road trips. Before leaving, check the depth of your tire tread. For good traction, they should have at least 3/4 inch of tread. Use a tire pressure gauge to check your tire pressure; if it’s low, fill your tires to the recommended level listed near your driver’s side door. It’s also a good idea to make sure your spare tire is in good condition.
  1. Check Your Vehicle’s Fluid Levels
    Make sure all your automotive fluids are filled and in top condition. This includes the oil, coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. If any of them are low, top them off. If your car is due for an oil change, radiator flush, or other fluid exchanges, have these performed before you leave on your trip. Keep an eye out for leaks or signs of old, degraded fluid (such as dark brown or black oil) and schedule repairs or service as needed.
  1. Check Your Brakes
    It probably goes without saying, but faulty brakes are dangerous—especially on longer trips. If you’ve noticed unusual noises while braking, a spongey brake pedal, or that your brakes aren’t as responsive as normal, have them inspected before your trip.
  1. Check Your Electrical Equipment
    Sometimes the less thought-of features on your vehicle can lead to problems on the road. Your electrical equipment, like your lights, windshield wipers, windows, turn signals, and GPS or other connected devices should all be working properly. If any of these are having issues, have them professionally inspected.
  1. Take Care of Any Major Repairs
    If you’ve been putting off any major repairs, including suspension, frame, or bodywork, they should be performed before hitting the road. Vehicle damage can be a safety risk for you and your passengers, and it can increase the chances of experiencing a breakdown. However, make sure to schedule these repairs in advance of your trip to ensure they’ll be done on time.

For High-Quality Auto Body Repair, Visit Cline Collision Center

The last thing anyone wants is to be stressed out about their vehicle during a road trip! Performing these basic checks and routine vehicle maintenance will help you have a reliable ride and complete peace of mind.

If you need auto body repair before your trip—or your vehicle gets damaged during your road trip—Cline Collision Center is here to help. We offer comprehensive auto body repair, ADAS calibration, and headlight restoration to help you stay safe and sound on the road. Contact us at (707) 591-9909 for a free estimate or schedule an appointment online.