Are you going on a cross-country road trip? If so, you might be wondering what to take with you. There are a lot of factors involved in packing for your journey, but here are some examples that may help.
What to Get Checked Before You Take Your Car on a Road Trip
An inspection by your mechanic or preparation you can do yourself should involve the following.
1. The Vehicle’s Fluids
Before you set out on your trip, one of the first things a mechanic should check is your vehicle’s fluids. You will want to check the level of oil and transmission fluid.
The batteries should also be tested, especially if you own an older vehicle. Be sure to clear any codes from the engine’s computer before leaving. Doing so can help avoid issues such as engine lights turning on or the battery failing while on the road.
2. The Car’s Tires
As a rule, you should not travel with worn or damaged tires. Driving on a worn tire can cause severe damage to your vehicle, resulting in costly repairs.
You will also want to check the tire pressure. Checking the pressure is particularly important if you are driving in a hot climate or if your vehicle has low ground clearance.
Gas Saving Tips when Traveling on the Road
Saving on gas is always a good idea, but it can be particularly important for a cross-country road trip. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
1. Use Cruise Control on the Highway
This idea might not seem like a big deal, but it can help you save gas. Studies show that using cruise control when traveling on the highway and staying in your lane can reduce your vehicle’s fuel consumption by 5%.
2. Don’t Drive Fast
Slower speeds burn less gas than faster speeds, so avoid going over the speed limit if possible.
Studies show that going the speed limit can save as much as 60%. That means there are a lot of savings to be had if you reduce how fast you travel on the road.
3. Use Air Conditioning Wisely
Air conditioning is another biggie when it comes to saving gas. The more AC you use, the more gas you will burn.
It is about efficiency: the difference between driving with your windows open and having the AC on all day can be as much as 10%. Use your AC sparingly and only when you must.
Kits, Apps, and Supplies to have with you on Hand
An emergency kit, supplies, and even certain apps can save the day when traveling.
1. First Aid Kit
Having a first aid kit will enable you to handle any issues with minor cuts and scrapes. Make sure the kit has everything needed and if previously used that all items have been replenished.
2. Emergency Kit
If you have a flat tire, then a spare tire, jack stand, lug wrench, and wheel wedges come in handy. As for the emergency kit, you’ll need jumper cables, a flashlight, warning triangles, gloves, tape, and household tools (i.e., screwdriver, mallet, hammer, pliers).
3. Gasbuddy App
Gasbuddy is an invaluable tool, especially if you are in an area where you don’t know much about gas stations or the prices they charge.
Using it can save you up to 10% on your gas bill. It is one of our most popular auto accessories.
When Your Car Experiences Problems
Even with the best preparation, problems can still occur while on a cross-country road trip.
1. Roadside Assistance
A roadside assistance plan is a must. If you don’t have one, join before you leave on your trip.
An ideal plan will not only aid you when you’re stuck on the side of the road, but supply towing services to take you to a garage for service.
2. Maintenance Plan
If your vehicle has a history of breaking down on long trips, consider signing up for a maintenance plan that will cover you for these situations.
Using a maintenance plan such as this can save you hundreds of dollars, and it is well worth the money if you are traveling long distances.
The best preparation involves anticipating what might go wrong before leaving on a cross-country road trip. Enjoy your vacation and safe travels!
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Two-Step Performance