If you're planning on taking a road trip, you’ll want to make sure your used car is up for all those miles out on the open road. With almost 47,000 miles of interstate system roads in the U.S., the possibilities for travel are unlimited! By following the tips below, you can help make sure that you and your passengers will enjoy a fun, stress-free journey.
1. Get Your Car Serviced.
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a road trip is to have your car serviced. Regular servicing will ensure that all of the components of your car are in good working order and that there are no major problems that could cause trouble on your trip.
If you're unsure when your car was last serviced, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with an auto mechanic before your trip. Doing this will give you some peace of mind knowing that your oil, tires, and brakes are all in good condition.
2. Prepare Your High-Mileage Car For A Road Trip.
If your used car has high mileage, it's especially important to prepare it for your upcoming road trip. Make sure to check all of the fluids, including the oil, brake fluid, and coolant levels before you leave. You’ll also want to pack an emergency kit with items like jumper cables, a first aid kit, and a flashlight. Well-maintained used cars can easily surpass the 200,000-mile mark today with scarcely an issue. It’s true that cars with a higher mileage often need a little extra TLC. But with some careful preparation, you can ensure that your car will make it to your destination and back without a hitch!
3. Understand What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down.
If your car breaks down while on a road trip, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the problem. The first thing you should do is turn on your hazard lights. This will warn other drivers that you're stopped on the side of the road. Then, you should try to move your car off of the road, if possible. If you're knowledgeable about cars, you might be able to fix the problem yourself. However, if you're not sure how to fix the problem, or if the problem is too serious, you might need to call a tow truck or a mechanic. If you have a roadside assistance* plan, or if you have added one to your insurance policy, they will be able to help you with things like repairing or changing a flat tire, charging the battery, or towing your car to a safer location.
4. Make Sure You Have The Right Car Insurance Coverage.
It's important to have the right car insurance in place before you go on a road trip. Without it, you could be facing expensive fines if you get into an accident. You don't want any surprises, so having the right insurance could give you the help you need in case of an emergency.
5. Be Prepared In Case Of A Car Accident.
No one wants to get in a car accident, but there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk of getting into a fender bender.
If you're going to be driving in unfamiliar territory, plan your route in advance or queue up your GPS before you head out. This will ensure that you’re focused on the road and the other cars around you.
When you're driving, always watch your speed and obey all speed limits. Pay attention to the road and don't let anything distract you. That includes your passengers, your phone, and the music or podcast you're listening to. If you need to do something that will take your attention off the road, pull over to a safe spot first.
Always drive defensively. Be aware of other drivers and what they might do. If someone is driving erratically, make sure to keep your distance from them on the road.
6. Check Your Roadside Assistance Plan.
Before embarking on a road trip, it’s important to check your roadside assistance* plan. If something happens to your car while you’re on the road, you’ll want to be sure you have someone to help you get back on your way. Most roadside assistance plans offer towing, jump-starts, and other types of support that can be lifesavers if your car breaks down.
By following these simple tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip for everyone. Contact Acceptance Insurance to learn more about how our car insurance and roadside assistance* plan options can give you the peace of mind to hit the highway safely this summer.
Common Questions Asked About Prepping Your Car For Road Trips
How Do I Check My Car's Oil Level?
If your car is due for an oil change, it's a good time to also check the oil level. You'll need to park on a level surface and pop the hood. Look for the dipstick (it will say "oil" on it) and pull it out. Wipe it off with a rag, then put it all the way back in and pull it out again. This time, look at the end of the dipstick to see where the oil level is. If it's between the "full" and "low" marks, you're good to go! If it’s below “low,” you need more oil. Check your car owner’s manual for recommendations for your specific car.
What Should I Do If My Car Starts Making Strange Noises?
If your car starts making strange noises during a road trip, don't panic! First, try to identify the source of the noise. Is it coming from the engine? The brakes? The tires? Once you've identified the source of the noise, try to correct the problem. If the engine is making a noise, for example, you may need to add oil or get a tune-up. If the brakes are making a noise, you may need to have them serviced. And if the tires are making a noise, you may need to inflate them or get new ones. In any case, don't ignore strange noises coming from your car! They could be an indication of a serious problem. If you're unsure where the noise is coming from you can contact your roadside assistance service provider for help. They can help you diagnose the problem and get your car back on the road.
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