When’s the last time you had an oil change? Or the last time you put some fresh air in those car tires? Whether you’ll be on your own or with the family during your next adventure, playing it safe is your best bet.
Before you head out on your next road trip, be sure to check these items off your to-do list! And if you don’t already have them in tow, be sure to pack these 15 essential items to keep in your car. Safe travels!
A few weeks before you leave, make sure to:
- Check your vehicle’s engine oil: pop the hood of the car and remove the engine oil dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert it and verify the tank is full. If it’s low, be sure to top it up; if you’re due for a change, make sure you schedule servicing before you depart.
- Double check the glove box to ensure your most recent registration and insurance are present. Also ensure your current driver’s license is packed and ready to go!
- Check your tire pressure: first, check the decal on the inside of your glove box for the recommended tire pressure for your car. Using the pressure gauge, take a reading of your tires’ PSI. If it’s too low, take your car to a gas station where you can pump air into the tires.
- Check the condition of your spare tire: often located beneath the trunk floor, examine the spare tire to ensure it’s still intact and fully inflated for use.
- Check the dashboard for any flashing or illuminated symbols: are there any warning that signs that something is wrong with the battery, engine, coolant, or other parts of the car? If so, schedule an appointment with your mechanic as soon as possible.
A week before your trip, be sure to:
- Stock up on necessary supplies, including snacks (or have an idea of where you can get refreshments on the road), as well as necessary first aid, medical, and other road trip supplies.
- Start planning your route, and gathering essential tools (think GPS, maps, lists of landmarks, and so on).
- Check your vehicle’s air filter: does it need to be replaced? Pick up a new one and consult the vehicle owner’s manual for directions.
- Fill the tank up with gas.
By now you should be confidant as you hit the open road!
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