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Preparing Your Vehicle For A Cross Country Trip

Nov 9, 2007
When traveling across the country for a vacation or otherwise, it's important to ensure that your car is in good working order. In the following article, we'll discuss things that you should check out about your car before you take any long trips, ensuring that you won't encounter problems while putting your car through this prolonged stress.

Check all the lights in your car. If there are any dead bulbs, replace them. Also, be sure to clean the dirt off of your headlights, taillights, and break lights. Remember that out-of-state police officers don't tend to take kindly to those with out of state license plates, and keeping your car in proper working order is of the utmost importance.

Check your windshield wipers. If they streak, or they're getting old, they may cause trouble should you encounter rain on the road. When in an unfamiliar territory, it's important to have the clearest vision you can while driving.

Check the battery. There's nothing worse than ending up with a dead battery in an unfamiliar area, and it's a problem that occurs often. If the battery is over three years old, or causes the car to crank slowly when starting, it's time to get the battery replaced.

Check your tire pressure. Wheels go through extended wear when taking a long trip, and they are more prone to blowouts when not properly inflated.

Check your engine's hoses and belts. If they are cracked or chipped, get them replaced to ensure there won't be any trouble with them.

Make sure all of your car's fluids are topped off. Be sure to keep extra coolant and oil in your car in case the trip brings the levels of your fluids down.

While driving the car at home, take note of the temperature gauge. If your car's engine is heating up too rapidly, it may overheat on a long trip.

Get an oil change. Fresh oil will help ensure that your engine is running smoothly and properly.

Take your car into your local mechanic and have him give it an inspection. There are parts of the car that you cannot properly examine yourself and it is important to ensure that your car is in perfect working order before taking any sort of an extended trip.

Get a spare tire aside from the donut that comes with the car. These spares can only last up to 50 miles, and when in an unfamiliar area, it may be a while before you can find a mechanic. Getting a tire that matches up with the others that you have on your car is of some importance.
About the Author
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Travel, Outdoors, and Sports
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