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4 Tips to Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip!

08/21/2014 · 3 comments

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Advance Auto Parts. As always, the opinions and text are all mine!

Getting ready for a road trip involves more than packing clothes and planning activities for the kids- you have to get your car ready for the road too. It is important to be prepared for the miles you will travel, and to also know what you would do if something went wrong along the way. So here are:

4 Tips to Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip!

4 tips to prepare your car for a road trip

1. Papers and Parts

Make sure that you have copies of your vehicle registration, insurance information, and your car’s owner’s manual all in the glove box. Know whom you are going to call if your car breaks down. Many car insurance companies offer roadside assistance for a small fee, or you can join AAA, but you definitely need to have a plan, and a phone number ready to call.

Know where your spare tire is and where all the tire changing parts are located (you look this up in your owner’s manual). I also suggest traveling with a extra bottle of windshield wiper fluid, a blanket, some bungee cords and duck tape- you never know when it might be helpful to be able to tie something down or tape it together! We also pack a few spare fuses for our car’s outlet system, in case my kids blow a fuse while watching DVDs!

2. Do You Know How to Jump Start Your Battery?

Nothing ruins a road trip faster than returning to your car after a nice dinner out with the family, only to realize that you left your lights on and now your battery is dead. Don’t know how to jump a battery? No problem- check out this video that shows you just how to do it:

3. Is Your Car’s Maintenance Up to Date?

You don’t want to set out for a road trip without making sure that your car’s maintenance is up to date. This includes things like oil changes, fluids replaced and topped off, and tires properly inflated and checked for undue wear. You can absolutely learn to do many of these maintenance checks yourself- check out this article “Fluids, Hoses, and a Little More Peace of Mind“. And here’s a video that shows you how to check the oil level in your car:

And because my “Mommy bus” is a non-standard vehicle that requires a special motor oil, we also travel with a few bottles of the kind of oil my car needs- just in case we need to top off our fluids while on the road.

4. Are Your Headlights Clean and Bright?

On many of our family road trips, we like to leave super early in the morning so that we can get lots of driving in while the kids go back to sleep in the car for a few hours. So making sure that we can see clearly while driving in the dark is important. But if your car has a few years under its belt, sometimes the headlights start to become dim and murky due to the oxidation that occurs on the headlight covers. This is easy to fix at home with a repair kit- and will leave your headlight covers cystal clear- greatly improving your ability to light up the night!

Head on over to Advance Auto Parts to learn more tips on how to prep your car for your next family road trip!

What special preparations do you always take to get your car ready prior to a road trip? Please leave me a comment and share them!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Advance Auto Parts. As always, the opinions and text are all mine!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

John Carston August 31, 2016 at 1:04 pm

I hadn’t considered a lot of these tips for preparing for a road trip. I’ll have to follow these instructions before my next vacation, especially making sure I have all the tire-changing parts I need. Come to think of it, I’ll have to check my headlights as well, like you recommend.

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Graham August 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Being up to date on your maintenance is SUPER important. Some people look at long road trips like they’re the same as a bunch of little trips all done in a row. But the reality is, when your car is running for that long, it will face new temperatures and pressures that you just don’t see on short trips. Just because your car can make it 20 miles 20 times a month doesn’t mean it can go 400 miles in one shot with no problems. Great list!
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Ivy Baker November 6, 2017 at 7:47 pm

My family has been thinking about going on a road trip for the holidays. I liked that you pointed out that my family should make sure that we know how to jump-start our cars if something goes wrong. It might also be smart for us to find a good roadside assistance company to call if we start having issues on the road.

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