Before the Ride: How to Check Your Car for A Road Trip (2024)

When you plan for a road trip, you want to be able to take in all kinds of amazing things, sites, and sensations – and the condition of your car should be good so you can enjoy the road trip. So, whatever road trip you go on, you will want to get your car ready.

When it comes to preparing your car for a road trip, there is a set of things that you can do yourself – whereas the other set of things is better left to the mechanic.

Check Codes

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One of the first things to do before you get your car on the road is to know what it needs by running the codes. If you have a car that was made in the last decade, there is loads of information that you can get from that obd2 port under your dash.

You will want to assess all of the diagnostic codes and see if you have any trouble. You might also want to run a bunch of real-time gauges. While you are checking your apps, you might also want to go ahead and check some of the best-priced fuel apps – especially when you are a gas price geek.

The app will tell you where the cheapest gas is wherever you are going in real-time.

Check Tire Tread

Another car check that you can do yourself before taking your car on a road trip is checking the tire tread. Now, this is a simple basic check that you might want to run – and believe us when we tell you that using a coin might still work.

You will want to take a quarter and put it upside down in the tread gap and see if you can spot the top of George Washington’s scalp. If you cannot, then you should be okay, as it should be somewhat covered, which means that you have reasonably deep tire tread. Of course, this is a rule of thumb – but a pretty good one.

It is important to mention here that you will want to check out all four tires because the tires don’t wear the same on the car. Speaking of tires, if you have a Subaru, you might want to get the subaru outback lift kit as a way to broaden your car’s capability to drive smoothly and confidently on more rugged terrains.

The point is to determine that the tires of your car have enough life to be worth bothering.

Check Tire Pressure

Check Tire Pressure
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Apart from checking the tire tread, you will also want to check the air in the tires. You will want to get a good gauge, such as a good dial gauge, to check the tire pressure. If you don’t know what your ideal tire pressure should look like, you will want to check inside the fuel filler and look for a label that will reveal the ideal tire pressure that you need.

This kind of check is the check of the cold air pressure that you do before you take off.

Assess the Brake Pads

To avoid accidents and serious injuries, you cannot leave for a road trip without checking the brake pads. You will want to check out the thickness of the brake pads, which happens to be a grimy task.

There is a possibility that checking the brake pads might be beyond your skill or comfort level. Still, you should know that the disc brake pads are inside the caliber and usually sit nestled into the braking mechanism itself.

You can google the exact location of the brake pads and ensure that it is the thickness that it needs to be. While you are at it, you might want to get a better look at how your suspensions look as well. If you do not want to take your car apart to check the thickness, you want to be mindful of another indicator.

If the brakes squeal when you brake, this means you need to get your vehicle checked and get new pads.

Check Oil

Check Car Oil
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To ensure that you have a safe and confident road trip, you will want to check the car’s oil, as well. Checking the car’s oil is an important thing to do – but this might not be a part of the more critical things that might strand you on the side of the road.

The only condition in which it might strand you is when you are completely out of oil, in which case, you are not really taking care of your car in general. So, go ahead and check the oil of your car and ensure that it is at a good level.

Also, if you have been neglecting this part of your car and you haven’t changed the oil in a while, then you will want to go ahead and do the thing that you need to do to prepare your car for a road trip.