Road trips come in all shapes and sizes. You might be driving across the country with friends, or you could be on a family vacation, or maybe you’re off on a solo adventure. Whatever the case may be, road trips can be exciting, life-changing experiences. But then, you must prepare properly for the days or even weeks you plan on spending on the road. You’ve probably thought about the snacks and books you want to bring, but you may not have considered all of the unexpected car issues you may encounter on the route when it’s already too late. The best practice is to always be prepared for any eventuality. Here are some ways you can get your car in prime condition for the long journey ahead.
- Check and optimize the A/C system.
If you’re planning on a summer road trip, you’re probably imagining racing down an open highway with music playing loud, your sunglasses on, and the wind in your hair. What you probably haven’t imagined is sitting in a suffocating greenhouse when your car’s A/C decides to break down halfway through your trip. A broken air conditioner will put a huge damper on the trip, so it’s best to make sure it’s in the best possible condition before you set off.
Air conditioning systems in cars are fairly simple. Refrigerant, a liquid/gas mixture, is pushed through a series of parts that work in a loop to change its pressure, and therefore its temperature. These parts are subject to wearing down over time. Leaks can also form naturally, which can eventually cause the cold air in your car to turn warm.
Supercool.ac has plenty of excellent products for optimal auto air conditioning health and performance. Their lubricated refrigerants help to lengthen the lifespan of the compressor, meaning it’s less likely to break down. Some of them also come with leak stoppers that work to fix smaller leaks before they have a serious negative impact on the performance of the A/C system. A great product to use before a long trip would be their A/C Flash Flush, which quickly and efficiently breaks down any clogs or build-ups in the system. Flushing out and cleaning the A/C system before you head off will give you peace of mind and reduce the risk of the A/C breaking down at an inconvenient time.
- Install a security system.
It never hurt to be extra cautious. If you’re going to be on the road for a while, you won’t necessarily always be leaving your car in a safe place overnight. Installing a security system is a good way to deter potential thieves and to give you added peace of mind. There are plenty of security systems available. Whether you opt for the classic car alarm system, or you choose a newer Bluetooth-operated system, you’ll be alerted to any disturbances near your car. You might even consider installing a GPS tracker in your car, just in case anything happens to it.
- The appropriate tools for winter driving
If you’re planning a trip in winter, it’s crucial that you pack all of the appropriate winter tools you might need. A good, sturdy ice pick and snowbrush is the first necessity. It might even be wise to pack a second backup one in case the first one breaks or gets lost. Without this item, you might find yourself trapped until the ice and snow on your car windows melts, which could take hours or even days.
You’ll also need a snow shovel in case of a major snowfall. Finally, you should consider replacing your tires if you haven’t already got snow tires on your car. You don’t know what sort of conditions you’ll be encountering on your journey. You’ll likely be driving on icy and snowy roads, so it’s best to be extra safe and invest in some tires made for the occasion.
- Jumper cables and a portable battery
Waiting for a jumper service on the side of the road could be a terrible unforeseen event on your trip. If your car’s battery dies for any reason, you won’t be able to turn on the heating or the air conditioning, so you’ll be in for a long, uncomfortable wait. Bringing jumper cables with you means that when your car battery dies, you’ll be able to restart it yourself, and be on your way in no time.
If the battery of your car does die and you happen to be somewhere remote, unable to restart it yourself, it would awful to find yourself with a dead phone and no way of charging it. Bringing a portable battery in case of emergencies like this will help you immensely.
- First aid kit
It’s important to remember that injuries and accidents occur anywhere. Packing a small first aid kit will mean you can tend to any unexpected injuries or illnesses as they arise, rather than waiting for the next town or gas station. Start with band-aids, pain killers, and a bag in case of car sickness.
- The fun stuff
Of course, any road trip wouldn’t be complete without some fun things to see you through the long hours on the road. There are plenty of things you can bring to keep everyone in the car happy. Good snacks and plenty of them are a good place to start. Try to purchase food that isn’t too messy or smelly. You should also consider downloading or renting audiobooks or podcasts to keep you entertained. Sometimes, this can be a nice change from the music on the radio. Finally, remember to bring things that will help everyone stay comfortable. Pajamas, hot water bottles, blankets, thick socks, and neck rests are all good places to start. Turning the road trip into a slumber party can be a fun way to keep spirits up as the sun goes down.