Your car is an essential part of your life, allowing you to travel to work or the store, just about anywhere you would need to go.
You can purchase a new car for a new family member or even make it more fun to drive and ride in, knowing that you can rely on your car.
But what goes into making sure your car is ready to create memories and lasting impressions while also creating safety and reliability?
As a car owner, it’s crucial to always be prepared before hitting the open road. That means looking at your vehicle and making sure everything is in good working order.
Here is a quick checklist of items you should check before setting out on your next journey:
Ensure You are Up-To-Date with DMV Registration
The first thing you’ll want to check is your registration with the DMV. Ensure all information is up-to-date and accurate, especially your vehicle identification number (VIN).
If anything has changed, such as your address or name, be sure to update your registration right away. Suppose your DMV has expired. You can complete the process of renewing it with this site online.
This is done by filling out an electronic application, or even more conveniently, you can do it right from your smartphone. You don’t want to get pulled over and ticketed for something like an expired registration.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Another critical thing to check before hitting the open road is tire pressure. Low tire pressure can lead to a blowout while driving, dangerous and costly.
Please make sure each of your tires is adequately inflated and has the correct amount of air in it. This information can usually be found on the sidewall of your tire.
If you’re not sure how to do this yourself, most gas stations have machines that will measure and fill your tires for you. Just be sure to bring along some change if you need to make a payment.
Inspect the Condition of Your Tires
Along with ensuring that your tires have the correct amount of air in them, you should also inspect the condition of your tires.
Tires worn down or have bald patches can be hazardous while driving. Ensure no visible damage to the tires, such as bald spots or deep cuts.
You should also check the tread depth to ensure it’s still at least 1/8 of an inch. If you need to replace your tires, be sure to do so well before your trip.
It’s not something you want to be dealing with while on the road. If you notice any problems with your tires, it’s best to take them in for a repair as soon as possible.
Ensure All Lights are Functioning
If you’re driving at night, all of your car’s lights must be functioning correctly. This includes your headlights, taillights, and brake lights. All of these lights need to be in good working order so that other drivers can see you on the road and you can see them.
You can test your lights by turning them on one at a time while parked in a safe place. If any of them don’t work, replace the light bulb right away. It’s also a good idea to keep an extra set of light bulbs in your car just in case.
Check Your Engine Oil
Another essential item to check before hitting the open road is your engine oil level. Running out of oil can cause severe damage to your engine, which can be expensive to fix.
You should always check your owner’s manual to find out the recommended oil level for your car and then make sure that level is where it should be.
You can check your oil level by finding the dipstick, usually located near the engine. Be sure to wipe it off before checking the level to get an accurate reading.
Pack an Emergency Kit
It’s always a good idea to pack an emergency kit for any road trip, no matter how short or long it is. This kit should include a first-aid kit, jumper cables, a flashlight, and an area map.
If you’re going on a long road trip, you may also want to include items like water and food, a blanket, and a spare tire. This way, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.
As a final note, it’s always important to be prepared for the unexpected while on the road. This means packing an emergency kit with supplies like water, food, and a flashlight.
Before hitting the open road, you should check your car’s lights, tires, and engine oil level.