Monday, November 27, 2017

Getting The Car Ready For A Road Trip


This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

1.  Having a membership in a motor club gives us piece of mind when we are on the road.  Our membership costs $150.00 a year for the two of us.   When we need roadside assistance, it is only a phone call away.   A big plus to having this membership is that it allows us to call whenever or wherever we need help.  Less than a week ago our car was completely dead in our driveway.  Soko called the motor club and they were at our home within an hour to pick up our car.  Because we have the premium plan, we can have our car towed up to 200 miles with no expense.  They towed our car to their mechanics who had our car up and running a couple of hours later.  Their charge seemed reasonable for the repairs they made.  We could have had our car towed to any mechanic but as we are relatively new to our area, we don't have any mechanics we are loyal to yet so this was fine.  We would definitely not feel comfortable on the road if we were not motor club members.

2.  Checking the fluids in the car is on our check list before each road trip.  We check the oil, coolant, brake fluid and windshield wash.  If our car needs oil or is due for an oil change we will have the mechanic check the fluids and also check the belts and hoses.

3.  We check the air filter while we are checking the fluids and will replace it if needed.

4.  We always check the air in the tires before a long trip.  Usually the night before our trip we will fill up the gas tank and fill the tires with air if needed.  We always keep a tire gauge in the car in case we suspect we are losing air in a tire.  Also at this time, we check on the spare to make sure it's in there and that it's in good condition.  We were stuck once when we completely forgot to replace a spare tire that we used!

5.  If something has not been feeling right we get it checked out before we hit the road.  We once felt a rattling, like something was loose, under our feet every time we drove in our van.  We brought it into the mechanics before our road trip to have it looked at.  We were right.  It was the axle.  We were very happy that we didn't ignore the vibration we felt.  Well, the new rebuilt axle we had put on was defective and actually fell off as we were on our way to Ohio to meet friends for our annual camping trip.  It could have been worse for us if it hadn't fallen off when it did, just after we drove through a toll stop.  I hate to think what might have happened if the axle fell off when we were driving full speed on the highway.  Thank goodness for our motor club for picking us up, fixing us up and getting us back on the road.


6.  We have three cars so we always have to make sure we have the GPS and other travel necessities in the car we will be traveling in.  As long as we have our phones with us we won't get lost but we'd rather use the GPS.  We would definitely have to buy a phone charger if we realized it was not in the car.  I have a charger that also has an outlet for the computer now.  I would not be happy if I left home without this charger.  I always count on my sunglasses being in the car but when they aren't I have to buy a pair.   This must not only happen to me because there is always a sunglasses kiosk open at every rest stop on the highway.  We like to have a flashlight (so happy this on our phones) and an umbrella in the car.  I also make sure to replenish our supply of garbage bags and napkins.  We do a lot of eating and drinking in the car  a when we are on the road and need lots of napkins and garbage bags.  Soko still uses maps and likes to have them in the car so we check to see if the ones he needs are in the glove compartment.  (Go here to see how we organized our glove compartment.)   We also like having moist towelettes, aspirin and bandages in the car at all times.

7.  On the top of my list is to get the car cleaned before we hit the road.  I don't like having to sit for hours looking at the dust on the dashboard or pulling my drink out of the sticky cup holder.  I feel so much more comfortable starting out with the car washed, dusted and vacuumed.  Also, for safety reasons, the windows need to be free of dirt for better visibility.  We usually change the windshield wipers before a long trip if we need to.

That is our routine.  Do you have a road trip checklist?  We would love to hear from you if you see that we need to add something to our list.

If you are looking to buy a new car because your car is not road trip ready, go to Cars.com for a huge selection of new, used and certified cars.

10 comments:

  1. Great tips. Especially checking the spare tire and windshield wipers - will add those to my list. And if you're traveling in winter, it's good to have blankets or sleeping bags, warm clothes, water, protein bars, etc, in case you're stranded.

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  2. Thanks for your suggestions! I have moved south to avoid the winter haha but yes, you are so right about having blankets in the car!!

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  3. These are certainly very helpful tips. I tend to stock up my car with snacks and drinks for road trips. And lots of wet wipes for crumbs and spills. My boys are perpetually hungry!

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    1. Eating is the number one boredom buster on the road for sure!

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  4. Very handy tips indeed..and I do enjoy similar benefits from the membership of the roadside assistance. And stacking all those logistics in the car :)

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    1. Know that roadside assistance is only a phone call away really makes the drive less stressful!

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  5. This is such a great list! I'm going to print it out and use it as a reference for our next trip. Thank you for sharing at Celebrate it!

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    1. So glad to hear that you could use this list. I like to have it printed also to use as a checklist!

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  6. These are great tips. I'm retired now and plan to make lots of road trips. Thanks for sharing on Sunday's Best.

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    1. Welcome to the club! I hope that you enjoy your retirement and yes, the random road trips that you can go on whenever you feel like it are the best part of retirement I think!

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