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College Trek: Tips on Road Trips and Car Maintenance

By September 5, 2018 August 27th, 2019 No Comments

Taking a road trip is an adventure, especially when you are on your way to college! There are the many nerves and excitements that come along with traveling to college, and the last thing to worry about is your car. You depend on it to get you to your destination, but it is you have to make sure the maintenance is up to date. Taking a long trip is a test for your car because even a small problem may turn the trip into a nightmare. To ensure your own and your passengers’ safety, remember to pack a first aid kit and emergency kit. In the emergency kit it should have the following items:

  • Roadside flares.
  • Extra oil.
  • Multipurpose tools such as pliers, wire cutters, a knife, bottle opener, screwdriver, and a file.
  • Tire inflator.

There are steps you can take to ensure your car itself is ready to hit the road. First, make an appointment with your mechanic to check the brakes and suspension. With any dealer or mechanic, you can usually ask for a “maintenance package” which would include an oil change, tire rotation, and a full car inspection. Here are some tips on how to prepare your car for the road trip to college:

Get a GPS system:

This is a car navigation tool that has the capability to show you exactly how to get to any destination. They work through communicating to at least three GPS satellites up in space. If you do not have one installed in your car already, you can purchase one at a store or use your phone if need be. It is always smart to be prepared with directions if you are reaching a new destination.

Review the owner’s manual:

The owner’s manual is the best source of information about your car. It can show you how to do things that occur unexpectedly while you are away from home such as checking the tire pressure, how to tow a trailer, change a tire, change a headlight bulb, and many other things. They may be minor changes, but if not adjusted correctly it may cause a major delay in your trip.

What to do under the hood:

It is important to take a look under the hood of your car to make sure everything is running properly. At times, you can hear an irregular noise from under the hood, and it is very important to check out what it is and get it fixed before you head out. Here is what to check under the hood:

  • Engine oil and automatic transmission fluid.
  • Antifreeze level in the overflow tank.
  • The battery. If you feel that the cranking speed is slower than usual, it is time to replace it.
  • Brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer reservoir.
  • Loose clamps.
  • Tire pressure, including the spare.

Check on the electrical equipment and lights:

Do this by checking the horn, windshield wipers, and lights in your car. You should replace the windshield wipers or get refills if they do not clean the windshield perfectly. If you know you are driving into more severe weather such as snow, you should replace the wipers with heavy duty ones that can handle snow. Keep some extra bulbs on hand just in case a light goes out. Depending on the season and location, make sure that the heater and air conditioner are working well for your own and the passengers’ comfort as you are on the road trip.

Make sure you have enough gas when you are driving:

Nothing is worse than running out of gas. If you know that you are going on a long mile stretch of nothing for a while, it is important to have your tank full of gas.

Keep your car clean:

Before you head out on the road trip, it is important to take time to clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle. You can do both at Bee Clean Car Wash in San Antonio! Everyone knows that a long road trip can get the car looking dirty, so why not stop by Bee Clean to get a car wash and use the free vacuums to clean the interior!