Regardless if a move is small or large or whether you hire professional movers or choose to handle everything yourself, this is a significant undertaking. Not only do you need to find a new home but also pack all your belongings. If you have kids, you have to get them enrolled in school or find quality daycare, if applicable. However, there’s one thing that a lot of people overlook, their vehicle.
Especially when driving a long distance to your new home or going to a part of the country where the climate is dramatically different from where you currently live, you need to prepare your car for the move. While this might not seem like a big deal, it can be. Below are five specific things you should do to your vehicle before relocating.
Check all fluids, including oil and coolants, and power steering, transmission, and brake fluids. Topping everything off will protect both you and your vehicle. Consider doing this about a week or two before your scheduled move if you have an older car. Then, one to two days out, either check the fluids yourself or have a mechanic recheck them. This is a great way to identify any leaks.
Also, if your move involves going somewhere with freezing temperatures, make sure you use the appropriate types of fluids. As a perfect example, not all coolants work the same in hot and cold environments.
To reach your destination safely, you need to have good tires on your car. Otherwise, you risk having a flat or blowout, which could prove disastrous. Although there is a financial investment associated with buying new tires, it is money well spent.
If the current tires are okay, make sure you check the air pressure several times during your travels. This is important since both hot and cold road surfaces can affect tire pressure. Also, have a properly inflated spare, along with the tools necessary to change a tire, just in case.
For your car to get you safely to your new home, it needs a good battery. Something else of importance is the cables. If you notice any corrosion, you need to clean the connectors. For this, eliminate the corrosion using a wire brush. If this is not something you have experience with or cleaning the cable connectors makes you nervous, take your vehicle to a car repair shop. There, a mechanic will gladly clean them for you.
4. Lights and Electrical Equipment
As for your car’s lights, even if you plan to travel to your new home during daylight hours, it is always best to err on the side of caution. Regarding electrical equipment, this includes the heater, air conditioner, horn, and windshield wipers. All of these things play an essential role when moving.
5. Automobile Insurance
Finally, make sure you are current on your car insurance policy. Amazingly, a lot of people have coverage lapse because they forgot to pay the premium. Whether driving across the country or to the other side of town, this is not something you want to overlook.
You might be an excellent driver, but that does not mean that other people are safe and responsible behind the wheel. So, before you head out, contact your insurance provider to verify that coverage is in effect. This is also a great time to determine if you have the right type of policy and coverage limits.
If you want to look at different options before the move, you can compare car insurance companies and what they offer using one of several online comparison tools. Who knows, you might find a policy that fits your needs better than the one you have and perhaps at a lower premium.
There are two other things worth noting. First, if you have no mechanical skills, an expert can go over all the details of your car to ensure it is safe for your trip. Second, instead of driving your vehicle to your new residence, you have another option. You can hire an auto transport company, which would pick up and drop off your car for you. This is ideal if you have several automobiles that you need to move or plan to fly to your new home.