Getting out of Long Beach and taking a long road trip is always an adventure. Whether you’re exploring the vast expanse of California or going out of state, road trips are a wonderful way to see America and learn about our highway culture. Every city, town, and village has its own character and culture.
But before you head out to experience America, you should make sure that your vehicle is capable of the task. Few things will ruin a road trip faster than car trouble, especially preventable car trouble. Keeping your vehicle well maintained and understanding what you should do in preparation for a long trip can keep your vacation from becoming an expensive mechanical nightmare.
Taking a long trip is a serious test for your vehicle, because even a small problem can greatly affect your journey. You should equip your car with a first aid kit and emergency kit, if you don’t already have them. Be sure to include two roadside flares, a quart of oil, extra fuses, a flashlight, a multipurpose tool, a tire inflator, some rags, and a pocketknife. It is also a good idea to carry a rechargeable battery pack so that you can jump start yourself if your battery dies, and some basic tools.
There are some steps that you can take at home to inspect your car, but many important parts should be inspected by a professional mechanic. It’s a good idea to make an appointment with your dealer or mechanic before you leave and ask for a “maintenance package”, which usually includes an oil change, tire rotation, and inspection.
You should also review your owner’s manual and go over the basic useful information about your car, in case you have to do anything unexpectedly while you are away from home. If you notice any vibrations or irregular noises, or leaks, then you should have them checked out by our mechanics as soon as possible, and definitely before you embark on your trip.
Before you leave, check your engine oil and transmission fluid. If the next oil or transmission fluid change is due soon, then you should definitely come to Orozco’s and let us take care of it before leaving. Check the antifreeze (coolant) level in the overflow tank, and have one of our professional mechanics inspect the system for leaks. Check the strength of your battery, and replace it if needed. Check the brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer reservoir. Have the air filter changed if needed. Get your car inspected for anything irregular, including leaks and loose clamps or hoses. Check tire pressure, including the spare, and have your tires balanced if needed. Check that you have a functioning jack. Have your CV joints checked and replaced if needed. Check the horn, windshield wipers, and all lights on your car. You night also want to check your heater and air conditioner.
Once you’ve followed all these steps, you should be ready to take your car out onto the open road. For the best peace of mind, to get a full inspection or if you need any repairs, don’t hesitate to come in to Orozco’s Auto Service in Long Beach!