If you need to get away, whether for a day, a weekend, or a week, a road trip could be your perfect ticket out. Road trips are fun, relatively inexpensive ways to go on a holiday with your significant other, your friends, or your family, and they are especially great for those who are afraid of flying on planes.

But before you pack up your vehicle and get ready to hit the road, there are certain things you need to do to really prepare your car for the long ride. These precautions will ensure your safety throughout your journey and will also allow your car to handle the trip without running into any mechanical problems along the way, which can put a serious dent in your getaway experience.

Check Your Car Before Your Road Trip

Basic maintenance is really what you need to do on your car before you leave for your road trip, whether you plan on traveling just a few hundred or a few thousand kilometres.

Tires: Full tires means you will get better gas mileage during your trip, but it does not stop there. Maintaining the proper tire pressure means you will avoid a blowout or a flat tire during your holiday. You also want to make sure your tires are not bald. In other words, is there enough tread on your tires to really grip the road in all conditions? This is especially important if you are planning a winter getaway to a ski resort where your car will traverse ice and snow. Check the spare tire as well to make sure it is in good condition.

Car Fluids: Make sure you have sufficient levels of all fluids, and change the oil if it looks dirty or if your car is up for an oil change. Some fluids that you should make sure you check before heading out include the coolant, engine oil, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, and power steering fluid. If you do not how to check these yourself, take the car to a professional who can make sure the levels are right and the oil is fresh.

Make Repairs Before You Leave: If your car needs any kind of repair, large or small, do it before you leave rather than risking something happening while out on the road. Make the investment into your car so that you will have the peace of mind while away from home. Even if your car just needs basic maintenance, now is the time to do it. This includes checking your brakes, belts, hoses, etc.

Bring Repair Manuals: In the event that your car does break down, you will want to know how to assess the situation and potentially fix the problem yourself if it is minor enough that you do not have to call a towing company and ruin your holiday. Therefore, it is important that you bring along your car’s repair manual. Place it into your glove compartment where it will be safe and easy to get to.

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Laura loves planning getaways, and road trips are her favourite. Because young drivers prefer road trips as well, she wanted to look up the cheapest cars to insure for young drivers when she found uSwitch.com, where drivers can compare insurance companies and their rates.