Road trips are a rite of passage for almost everyone in the world. Whether it’s exploring a country by car or camper van or heading home for the holidays, a road trip offers genuinely amazing and priceless memories. 
However, to ensure a smooth and safe trip we would always recommend ticking off a few items on our curated checklist prior to starting the journey. 
Since your car is the ultimate companion on your road trip, we have compiled our top ten list of things to check before heading out for a hassle-free trip. 
1. Get your car serviced 
One of the saddest sights on a road trip is seeing someone stuck on the side of the road waiting for help to arrive. Unfortunately if you don’t prepare properly a car breakdown can be a common mishap on a trip. In order to ensure that you are not stranded on an unknown road in the middle of nowhere, it is a good idea to get your car serviced by a reputable mechanic before the trip. 
If you don’t have the time to have your car serviced, or if you have had it looked at recently there are still a few parts of your vehicle you should check before setting off - here’s the main ones. 
2. Get your car tyres checked 
A flat tyre is one of the main causes of road trip issues. There are two key things you need to check: Tyre Pressure & Treads. 
TYRE PRESSURE: While checking the air pressure, ensure that your tyres are not over–inflated, or under-inflated, in order to avoid various issues with the tyre. If you are not sure on what pressure they should be, you can often read the settings on the inside of the car door or in the user manual.Just remember front tyres and rear tyres have different settings. 
TREADS: If the treads are not deep enough, the tyres tend to wear out more quickly thereby losing traction on the road. Also, ensure that your spare tyre has been checked, it might just come in handy. You can also take with you a portable tyre inflator and pressure checker, especially if you are planning on being on the road for a long time. 
3. Check The Brakes, Headlights, and Horn 
Ensure your car’s headlights, brakes and horns are in perfect working condition before you embark on your trip. Check the headlight bulbs, in case they are not giving off enough light, and get them replaced as blown-out headlights can be hazardous to other drivers. It is also illegal to drive without proper lights in many countries - not being aware of this isn’t an excuse. 
4. Air Filters 
Dirty air filters can prevent fresh air from entering your car or the engines. A clean air filter will ensure an efficient and smooth journey. 
5. Top up all the fluids 
Make sure that all essential fluids like screenwash in your car are at or above the minimum safe levels. Do a quick inspection and if you find that any fluid is running low, get a top-up to ensure that there are no glitches in your carefully planned trip. Not having water for your wipers can make it a real struggle in bad weather or on dusty roads. 
6. Check the Windshield Wipers 
Replace your car’s wiper blades if they are damaged or worn out. 
7. Check the Batteries 
The last thing you want is to get stuck on a trip with a dead battery. Make sure you have some jump leads as well just in case, as someone can help get you going if it goes flat overnight. 
8. Check your fuel 
No one wants to see the dreaded orange light. Make sure you have enough fuel for your trip - and also check on your dashboard how far your tank will take you. If you going long-distance make sure there is somewhere to fill up before you run out. 
9. Check the traffic rules or Highway Code 
If your road trip is taking you to a different country, there are rules around lights, number plates and even what side of the road you drive on. Always best to check in advance. 
10. Check the driver! 
Make sure you’ve had plenty of sleep and take breaks if need be on the trip.Driving can be very tiring and requires a lot of concentration so keeping your driver in good condition is almost as important as your car. 
If you have completed your checks and you need any car parts, you can find spare parts in our product range so you’re ready to go. 
Now you have the car sorted there are a few other things you should think about before heading out on the open road. 
Here are some of things we wouldn’t go on a road trip without. 
Car chargers or portable USB battery - we all love our phones, so making sure they are fully charged, whether that’s to update someone on your ETA or using Google Maps is important. 
Snacks - one of the key purchases for road trips is refreshments. Whether that’s sweets for the kids (or big kids) or water, it's crucial to have food and drink available in case you breakdown 
Sat Nav - for obvious reasons. 
Physical map - if you’ve forgotten your charger or if you are driving in an area with no coverage, going analogue with a map might save you a lot of time 
Warm clothing - more for driving in colder countries, but always worth having a spare blanket or jumper in your car just in case. 
Cash - while most places take cards, you really never know and it might be useful to have a few coins or notes handy. 
Comfy pillows/cushions - if you’re piling the kids in the back, they’ll probably be asking how far it is after 10 minutes of driving. Make it comfortable back there for them so hopefully they’ll nap for some of the time. 
Sunglasses - a sunny road trip is always more fun, but make sure you have your sunglasses within easy reach if you are driving on your own. 
Games for the kids - their in-car entertainment could be a tablet downloaded with their favourite programmes or you can even play the old-fashioned number plate game. Trust us, you’ll thank us for the reminder. 
Now you have everything you need for the perfect road trip. Happy travels for all of us at SMIC Autoparts. 
Tagged as: driving tips
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