Car Maintenance is extremely important when you are planning to travel with your family. Can you imagine getting on an airplane that had not been thoroughly checked over before departure? It’s a very scary thought, yet we have all driven past vehicles that are broken down on the side of the road either from a flat tire that was so worn it should have been replaced months ago, or out of gas, fluids, or other engine problems.
We’ve seen vehicles broken down in the mountains during snow storms, on the highway near Death Valley, and on a typical sunny day. There are many reasons why a vehicle brakes down, but car owners and especially parents traveling with young children should make every effort to prevent a vehicle brake down at all costs.
Here are some basic steps to take to make sure your car is always in top notch shape and ready for your next camping trip or long road trip adventure with the kids.
- Get that oil changed every 3,000 miles or every 3 months along with the vehicle inspection. Which ever one happens first.
- Have your tires checked and rotated at each oil change.
- Check your vehicle engine, belts, brakes, fluids, windshield wipers, lights and mirrors. Carry extras in your vehicle incase a blinker goes out, or a windshield wiper malfunctions while you are traveling.
- Check your spare tire to be sure it’s in good shape.
- Replace the thin spare with a reliable regular size tire ahead of time.
- Keep up on all routine maintenance checks.
- It is also good to have some emergency items for your car such as a 12V tire pump, portable jumper cable battery, tire repair kit, spare tire in good shape, and tools.
- Carry a GPS or Road Atlas.
- In the winter, it is advisable to carry chains, car wheel grip mats (for ice), 12V heater blanket, and shovel.
- Carry a cell phone and/or some payphone spare change with you while you travel to keep your family safe.
Now that you’ve taken the steps required to insure your vehicle has passed the safety check, and you are confident your car is in perfect traveling condition, load it up and head out on the highway for some more great travel experiences with your family. This is one preparation that should be a top priority. Your family is depending on it.