How To Get The Automotive Prepared For A Highway Journey

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We now have all thought of simply testing of actuality for some time and hitting the open highway. Simply comply with it to the top and flip a coin to see if we go left or proper. Possibly we find yourself on the coast listening to the sound of waves crashing in opposition to the shore line.

Possibly we find yourself within the mid west amongst limitless seas of gold watching the wheat blow rhythmically within the wind. Possibly we find yourself within the mountains excessive above the lights of day after day life so we are able to get a greater view of the celebrities.

Or worse, perhaps you find yourself damaged down within the “center of nowhere” with no cellular phone service. (This seems to be a recurring theme for our household cross nation highway journeys, however extra on that in one other article.)

That’s what occurred to us on our very first cross nation highway journey. I had taken each precaution I may consider and executed the entire preventative upkeep all of the “outdated timers” had mentioned to do within the months main as much as our first journey.

But right here we’re, for the primary time, in an empty car parking zone attempting to repair the transmission with tape and zip ties to make it again to “someplace”. (The tape and zip ties labored by the best way)

How To Get The Car Ready For A Road Trip
Proper after we handed by Oklahoma Metropolis, again into the vacancy of the mid-west

Now this breakdown couldn’t have been foreseen (on the time). It seems one of many strains from the transmission to the transmission cooler simply blew itself out of the facet of the transmission. It wouldn’t be till years in a while our strategy to Yellowstone that I’d uncover why it occurred and take steps to remedy the issue.

So earlier than I inform you the story of how we received again on the highway that night time, lets first go over a few of the pre-trip steps we took to ensure we wouldn’t find yourself on this actual state of affairs, and a few of the issues we didn’t suppose to do however have now made positive are a part of the preparing part of our cross nation journeys.

Let’s first go over a few of the extra apparent stuff you need to do earlier than hitting the highway like getting a contemporary oil change, checking your tire strain, and topping off all of your fluids.

  • Oil Change
    • Are you going exceed the mileage on your subsequent due change? In that case, or in case you are undecided, Get a contemporary oil change simply earlier than you allow.
  • Tire Strain
    • Be certain your tires are stuffed to the beneficial air strain earlier than you allow. If you’re undecided what that strain is, open your driver door, and look on the door jamb. There needs to be a sticker with the right strain to inflate your tires too.
    • Holding your tires on the proper strain will lengthen the lifetime of your tire, in addition to aid you get higher fuel mileage.
  • Radiator Fluid
    • DO NOT OPEN THE RADIATOR IF YOUR ENGINE IS HOT.
    • Some vehicles solely require that the overflow tank be stuffed and can prime themselves off, others require that the radiator cap be taken off to be stuffed. Be sure you use the fitting coolant and process on your particular automobile. If you’re not sure, the rep at your native auto elements retailer can search for which type you want.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
    • It is a seasonal consideration. Within the hotter months, search for a fluid that can assist to scrub bugs off the windshield. After a whole lot of miles you’ll be able to have fairly the gathering gooey smears on the windshield. Within the winter months search for a fluid with de-icing properties to forestall it from freezing and to assist clear the frost off the windshield.
  • Brake Fluid
    • Do you want DOT-3 or DOT-4? Once more, in case you are undecided ask your auto elements retailer rep, Be certain it’s stuffed to the complete line, however not previous it. The very last thing you need is to be coming down a steep mountain highway and never have the ability to cease.
  • Energy Steering Fluid
    • One other vital one to ensure is stuffed to the complete line however not previous. You’re going to be on the highway for a whole lot, or presumably hundreds of miles this journey. Holding this full will guarantee your tires are straightforward to show, and extra importantly, that they don’t all of the sudden change into troublesome to show at a essential second.
  • Transmission Fluid
    • Final however not least of the below the hood checks is the trans fluid. This one is on the top of the record as a result of it usually must be checked with the engine operating, AFTER driving it just a few miles to get it heat. Take your trip across the block just a few occasions and get it as much as regular working temperature. Whenever you get again, depart the automotive operating and pop the hood. MAKE SURE YOU KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM THE RADIATOR FANS.
    • Pull your transmission dip stick. Wipe it clear with paper towel, then slide all of it the best way again in, and pull it out once more. Now verify to ensure the fluid is between the “Good” strains. Whether it is beneath, then add some with a funnel by pouring it down the identical tube the dip stick goes it. Once more, you will need to be certain that it isn’t over stuffed, as that may trigger extra strain, which may result in a break down in the course of Oklahoma. (see above image)

Now that record could appear fairly apparent, but it surely by no means hurts to have it in your guidelines. The next record is made up of issues which have both bitten us within the rear finish, and are actually on our record, or that now we have picked up from different nomads alongside the best way.

The Forgotten Gadgets:

  • Windshield wipers
    • Chances are you’ll not even discover how dangerous your windshield wipers have gotten over time, or solely give it some thought when it’s raining and you’ve got that one streaky spot proper throughout the place you could see. Throw a contemporary pair of seasonally acceptable windshield wipers in your rig earlier than hitting the highway. You by no means know when foul climate will hit, and having the ability to see the brake lights in entrance of you isn’t one thing to go away to likelihood.
  • First help equipment
    • Nobody plans on getting a reduce on their finger, or stung by a bee, or burned on a camp fireplace, but it surely occurs. When you’ve got an allergy, ensure you’ve received the fitting issues with you want benadryl, to stave off any undesirable signs. You could possibly end up 30 or 40 miles from the closest open drug retailer when one thing occurs.
  • Jumper cables
    • Positively need to ensure you have a set below the seat or within the trunk of the automotive. When was the final time you set a contemporary battery below the hood? They don’t final perpetually, they usually by no means give out if you are in entrance of the auto elements retailer.
  • Did you verify the air in your spare tire?
    • This is likely one of the mostly neglected pre-trip chores. Odds are you haven’t even given it a second thought. The air strain will seep out over time, and there’s nothing extra aggravating than lastly getting the flat tire off your automotive, placing the spare on, decreasing the jack solely to search out out, your spare tire is flat too.
  • Does your automotive also have a spare tire?
    • Many more moderen autos don’t even include a spare. Did you simply assume its below the ground mat within the trunk? It will not be. While you’re out within the driveway checking to make sure, have a look and ensure you have a strategy to jack up your automobile when you want too.
  • Repair-A-Flat
    • I can’t stress this one sufficient. Whether or not you will have a spare tire or not, preserve a can in your automotive. In case you get a flat on a steep mountain highway, or on a darkish freeway, or some other sketchy state of affairs, its a lot simpler and safer to squirt some fix-a-flat in your tire for 30 seconds, and get your self to a safer, stage, nicely lit car parking zone away from the oncoming site visitors to work in your automotive.
  • Tire Plug Equipment
    • If you know the way to make use of one, throw one in your glove field. Chances are you’ll get a gap greater than the fix-a-flat can deal with within the tread of your tire, however you might be able to plug it, then hit it with the fix-a-flat to get your self off the freeway.
  • Spare fluids
    • Does your truck burn oil like mine does? What a couple of transmission or energy steering leak? Throw a small milk crate within the trunk with some spare fluids in it to maintain them from rolling round, and when you want them, you’ll have them helpful as a substitute of being stranded over a 5 greenback quart of fluid.
  • Bathroom paper
    • Maintain a roll within the heart console for when ya want it. Lets face it guys, now we have it straightforward. If we all of the sudden get the uncontrollable urge whereas altering that tire, its a straightforward downside for us. However go forward and inform your stunning bride that she’s received to carry it till the tow truck will get right here since you didn’t pack the fix-a-flat, after which when she will’t maintain it anymore and has to carry on to the guard rail and lean again with out slipping and if that every one goes nicely that she has to make use of leaves since you threw away the quick meals bag with the napkins in it. That ought to make for a enjoyable night proper?

Clearly you’ll be able to’t pack a spare all the pieces for each state of affairs, however these few gadgets gained’t take up a lot room and I’ve seen with an older automobile like our 97 GMC Suburban they are usually the issues we want most frequently.

Did you see one thing on our record that you simply didn’t consider?

Do you will have one thing in your pre-trip record that we didn’t consider?

Remark and tell us! We’d love to listen to from you and your remark may make a distinction for a fellow nomad on the facet of the highway at 2am!

Joyful Travels. -Doug

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