Driving for the Holidays? A Checklist for Getting Your Car in Road Trip Ready Condition This Year
The holiday season is looking a lot different this year. Instead of flying or travelling by train, you may have decided to drive home for the holidays. So, when it comes time to hit the road, you need to be prepared. Here are a few tips to make your car road trip ready. Not only will your trip be more enjoyable, but it will be less stressful as well.
Charge the Battery
Most car batteries require little to no maintenance. You only need to keep an eye on the expiration date and have it replaced when needed. But if you’re driving home for the holidays, it’s still a good idea to make sure your battery will make the long haul.
If you live or are visiting somewhere that has below zero temperatures, you could wake up to a dead battery. Cold air is the leading cause of dead batteries, so invest in a portable battery charger and store it in the trunk, just in case your battery needs a boost.
Inspect the Brakes
Faulty brakes are pretty easy to spot. They’re noisy, and you may need to pump your brakes when trying to stop. However, when brakes are just starting to wear out, you might not notice anything out of the ordinary. To avoid any surprises along the way, get your brakes checked out in advance. Your mechanic can determine if your brakes are up to the road trip challenge and swap out brake pads if needed.
Cue Up the Tunes
Unless you’re only driving a few miles, music is a must. Whether you’re listening to the radio, your own playlist, or an audiobook, a working stereo will make a long drive much faster. But if your car stereo is nothing but static, it can make the trip home nothing short of unbearable. Your car stereo doesn’t need to be expensive; it just needs to get excellent reception and produce high-quality sound. These days, you can find a lot of car stereos at good prices to make your road trip memorable.
Replace the Windshield Wipers
Even if you’ve never had to use your windshield wipers this year, they still need inspected before you take off for the holidays. Extremely hot temperatures can cause the blades to erode over time. You also need to top off the wiper fluid, so you can keep your windshield crystal clear for the entire drive.
In addition to the above, make sure your heat is working properly and prepare an emergency car kit as well. This should include blankets, extra clothes, non-perishable food and water, and most importantly, toilet paper.
Driving home for the holidays should be enjoyable, not another worry during the busy holiday season. Get your car ready for the trip now, so you kick back and enjoy the ride.
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