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Get Your Vehicle Road Trip Ready (Free Printable Checklist)
Even before I started blogging about travel, my family loved to get away and explore new places. Since our move to East Tennessee leaves us miles away from our family in Michigan, we have added trips back to visit to our schedule. We travel by car because it is more economical and provides a great way to explore on the way to our destination. We are always amazed by how beautiful our road trips are as we drive from state to state. However, when traveling by car it is important to make sure your vehicle is Road Trip Ready.
No one wants to break down half way to their destination and end up with a costly repair bill that will put your travel plans on hold. To make sure that we are prepared for our road trips, I have created a Road Trip Ready Checklist. This checklist helps make sure that we don’t forget anything we need to do and today I am sharing it with you. Check out our Road Trip Ready Checklist and make sure to download the Free Printable so you can leave on your next road trip worry-free.
Road Trip Ready Checklist
- Get an Oil Change – Nothing can cause more damage to your car than driving it with dirty oil. Make sure that you are current on your oil changes and that there is a clean oil filter. If you recently had an oil change and are not due for a while, make sure to check your oil level in case something has happened since your oil change.
- Change Your Air Filter – Your air filter is responsible for better gas mileage, improved acceleration, reduced emissions, improved acceleration, and a longer engine life. All of these things lend to an overall better driving experience. The air filter is your engine’s first line of defense against dirt and debris and it is amazing how quickly the air filter can become dirty and I was surprised to see mine was not only dirty but contained dead bugs and debris. The best part is the air filter is easily changed on your own without any mechanical know-how. Keep reading to see just how easy it is below.
- Check your Tire Pressure – Most newer vehicles have a tire pressure monitoring system but if your vehicle does not make sure to check them with a tire gauge. If they are not properly inflated, make sure to inflate or deflate them as appropriate. Properly inflated tires will provide you with better gas mileage, help you avoid accidents and reduce the wear on your tires.
- Check your Wiper Blades – Wiper blades allow you to see clearly out of your window and if they are not functioning properly your vision could be impaired and lead to an accident. Signs of worn out wiper blades include streaks/hazing when it rains, wiper blades pulling away from the window when in use, splits/cracks in the rubber, bent metal arms, and/or a popping sound when the wipers are in motion. If they are showing signs of wear and tear make sure to replace them.
- Stock a Roadside Emergency Repair Kit – This is an important must have and should never be left out even if you are struggling to fit in all your luggage. Essentials to include are roadside flares, flashlight/headlamp, tire inflator/sealant, jumper cables, basic tool kit, fire extinguisher, car jack, window washer fluid, and extra oil.
- Update your First Aid Kit – First aid kits are not just necessary at home, it is important to be prepared while traveling. You can purchase good kits at Walmart or create your own. Some top essentials to include are band-aids, gauze pads, medical tape, acetaminophen/ibuprofen, instant ice pack, antibacterial ointment, hand sanitizer, breathing barrier, scissors, tweezers, and gloves.
- Pack Water and Snacks – This last step may seem like a given when you are traveling but many people plan on getting these things when they stop for gas or to use the restroom. However, if you break down or get caught in a storm it is nice to have these on hand. Bottled water is a great option because it is not going to go bad if it gets warm. Make sure to pack snacks that are non-perishable such as pretzels, peanuts, jerky, and crackers.
Now that you know what steps to take in order to make sure your vehicle is road trip ready, I am going to show you how simple it is to change your own air filter. I purchased my FRAM Extra Guard Air Filter on a recent trip to Walmart to stock up on some of our road trip snack essentials. It was easy to discover what air filter I needed by visiting FRAM online, I knew the correct number I needed when I arrived but they also have a handy guide book in-store if you forget. Once you have purchased your air filter, you are ready to change the one in your vehicle. In a few simple steps you will be on your way to protecting your engine.
Step 1 – Park your car on a flat service and wait until the engine is cool.
Step 2 – Locate the air filter case. It is usually in a black case near the engine and is usually the only plastic piece on top of the engine. If you are unsure, check your owner’s manual.
Step 3 – Open the case. Some cases are held by metal clips and you can pop them off pretty easily with a butter knife. If there are screws holding your case together unscrew them.
Step 4 – Remove the old filter and wipe out any debris in the case.
Step 5 – Insert the new filter and close the case.
See, I told you it was easy!
Before you plan your next trip make sure your vehicle is Road Trip Ready by downloading this handy checklist below.
Road Trip Ready Checklist
To discover more great Summer Car Care tips visit FRAM and discover how you can keep your car running great for all your summer adventures.