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Road trip season is here, and there’s much to consider before embarking on a journey. Many people rent cars for road trips, but there are still quite a few who drive their own. However, there are things vehicle owners should do to prepare their rides for such long trips. Not doing so could leave you stranded or cause long-lasting damage to your car. This is even true if you have one of the best road trip cars.

Every car needs attention before a road trip

One of the reasons car rentals for road trips are so popular is because the maintenance is done for you. However, it doesn’t take a ton of effort to ensure this all happens for your car. One of the first things most people should do is get an oil change. The only exception would be if you’ve recently gotten one and your road trip mileage wouldn’t exceed the suggested amount before an oil change is needed.

Girl on a road trip
Woman in a car | Ridofranz via iStock

The great thing about professional oil changes is that auto mechanics usually check fuel levels and other important information. This would cover many of the best practices for preparing your car for a road trip. Additionally, they’ll typically ensure your tires have the proper levels of air. However, your tires may need more attention.

Check tires and brakes

Just because your tires have the proper amount of air doesn’t mean your car is ready for a road trip. According to Nerd Wallet, most vehicles need new tires every 36,000 to 75,000 miles. So, if you’ve had them longer than this or even close to this amount of miles, it’s best to get new tires. Not only can bald tires cause you to become stranded, but they can also cause car accidents. Additionally, make sure you have a good spare.

Brakes are also important, and people often neglect them until they have problems. However, the last thing anyone on a road trip wants to deal with is their brakes going out. The easiest thing to do is to have the brakes tested at a mechanic’s shop, which is sometimes a free service.

Invest in various equipment

One of the best pieces of advice for getting cars ready for road trips is to make sure you have the proper equipment. For example, even if your car battery is in good condition, it’s great practice to invest in either jumper cables or a battery charging device. These are often inexpensive.

It’s also not a bad idea to have a flashlight or two. These can come in handy in all sorts of situations that may arise at night. Flashlights are also great safety devices. In general, getting an emergency roadside kit is a great idea, and it would more than likely have much of what drivers need for road trips.

Related to tires, make sure you also have a jack stand in the car. It does no good to have a spare tire if you can’t change it. Additionally, at least one person going on the road trip learning to change a tire would be a great idea.

Again, it’s important to prepare even the best road trip cars before embarking on a long journey. Not doing so can dampen your experience and have costly consequences.