If you're searching for how to prepare your car for a pandemic summer road trip, you are at the right location! This article provides you with step-by-step guidance on what needs to be considered before hitting the road for your next summer trip.
Back in 2019, summer road trips never needed any restrictions except those common preparations. While things are getting closer to normal, we still don't know when we can fully go back to normal, especially when it comes to preparing your car for a pandemic summer road trip.
Millions of people are already fully vaccinated, which means that road trip lovers are getting ready for their favorite time of the year to hit the road.
If you think that a summer road trip will be your choice this year, there are certain things to consider and keep in mind before hitting the road, even though the pandemic restrictions are slightly lifted.
Keep in mind that we are still learning about this virus, and every person must keep an eye on any additional advisors from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thus, we advise you not to depend on what's listed in this article and stay up to date with your state's certain requirements along with those listed on the CDC website.
Preparing for a road trip checklist: will this checklist look different during the pandemic?
While it sounds very exciting to hear that summer road trips might resume, have we ever thought about any certain preparation for our vehicles that has been sitting idle for a long time now?
Some people might argue that they still drove their vehicles for quite a good time, even during the pandemic. However, our driving habits and frequency are different than in previous years, and if you're planning to go for a long road trip during the summer, you still need to take a closer look at your vehicle and ensure that it's 100% ready.
Based on our advanced experience in cars mechanics, we advise you to check these items before any summer pandemic road trip:
Fix any problem
Since our vehicles haven't been driven for a long time, we can easily forget about checking any mechanical problems. When we drive the vehicle more frequently, any mechanical problem will pop up, and we will realize it immediately.
Therefore, relying on your memory of any problem in your vehicle is not enough because you didn't drive the vehicle much. You might not pay enough attention to small things that can get complicated over time.
That's why our team advises you to visit you are mechanic and ensure that there are no problems in your vehicle and it's ready for long road trips. The last thing you want to do is deal with mechanical problems and throw a wrench in your trip just because you didn't check for minor things.
Stay up to date with your maintenance
There is certain maintenance that you need to ensure and perform regularly to expand your vehicle's lifetime and prevent dealing with major troubles, especially those related to the engine or the transmission.
Some of this frequent and regular maintenance includes oil change, replacing spark plugs, rotating tires, etc.
Check when was the last time when you performed any of these regular maintenances. If you are due for any of these maintenances, you must do so before starting your road trip.
If you're unsure whether your vehicles do for any of this maintenance, you might need to refer to your vehicle's owner’s manual and get in touch with your mechanic, who can provide you with the last dates each maintenance was done.
Inspect your vehicle's fluid levels
Your vehicle has plenty of important fluids that need to be at a proper level. Otherwise, you might introduce some major problems to your vehicle, and you will notice a significant reduction in the vehicle's overall performance.
In your car, you need to check the engine oil, the transmission fluids, the brake fluids, the steering fluids, and the coolant level.
That's why we recommend that you inspect and confirm that oil fluid levels are at the proper check. You can confirm with your vehicle's owner manual and determine the right fluid level for each fluid type.
Keep in mind that some of these fluids require certain precautions before performing the inspection. For instance, the coolant is one of those very hot fluids that can introduce some risks of burns. Therefore, you never want to check it when the engine is hot, and you must wait for a little bit till it cools down.
There are some fluids where you need to check them from underneath the vehicle. Some drivers might find it challenging to test or inspect for these fluids. Therefore, we recommend that you have your professional mechanic perform an inspection and confirm that everything is at the proper level.
Check the tire status and pressure
It's been proven that if your vehicle stays stationary for a long time, like the time we spent during the pandemic, there is a high chance for the tires to inflate over time.
That's why you need to pay close attention to your vehicle's tire status. When we say the sad as we refer to three important things, including:
- Any signs of major damage are like missing rubber or sidewall bubbles.
- Tire tread depth has to be at a certain level; otherwise is recommended to replace the tire
- Tire pressure must also be at a certain level that you can find on a place card usually located on your driver's side door jamb. Keep in mind that your tyrant must be inflated to the recommended, not the maximum pressure level.
Inspect your vehicle's cooling system
Sizzling summer temperatures can significantly affect your vehicle's cooling system, which might push it way over the edge. Even though the cooling system might get affected and the engine might overheat during any season, summer is a different scenario and if you're planning for a summer road trip, paying close attention to the cooling system is a must.
As a driver, you can perform quick checks to spot any obvious signs of issues in your vehicle's cooling system. For instance, you can inspect any coolant leaks under the vehicle or around your vehicle's bottom.
Another thing to consider is your vehicle's temperature gauge because there are scenarios where the gauge is not reading the right temperature that represents the engine's performance. Thus, check whether the temperature gauge shows somewhere between 195 and 220 degrees when the engine is hot. Otherwise, you might need to have a professional mechanic inspect the temperature gauge.
Don’t leave yourself without a working air conditioning system
There is nothing worse than ruining your road trip with bad air conditioning. Summer temperatures will be very high, and therefore, you must take a closer look at the air conditioning to make sure that it's working properly.
Many people skipped this step and had to deal with a lot of stress that might end up with canceling their road trip just because the air conditioning is not working.
Check the braking system
Most people worry about checking their breathing system due to icy or snowy days. However, even when you're driving for long distances during hot summer, you still need as much power as possible to help you stop your vehicle whenever needed.
If your vehicle has been sitting stationary for a while, it might be the right time now to take a closer look at the braking system to ensure that you don't need to replace the brake pads.
According to automotive experts, brake pads must be replaced every time you notice that the friction material is at about less than 4 millimeters. It can be dangerous to drive your vehicle if it doesn't have sufficient friction, putting your life and passengers' lives at risk.
Consider inspecting your wipers
We all know that wipers are mostly needed during winter temperature; however, you still need to have properly working wipers to ensure clear visibility during summer storms in certain environments.
You don't have to hire a professional mechanic to inspect your wipers because it's a fairly easy job. You can start your vehicle and try using the wipers and the waters. If everything looks OK to you, then you should be good to go. However, if you don't set the wipers are not working properly, you can visit any local store that sells these wipers and replace them yourself because it's not a labor-intensive job and wouldn't take a lot of time from you.
Check your vehicle's battery
When we don't drive the vehicle for a long. Even if we have working batteries, there might be a chance that the battery stops holding the charge due to lack of use.
Many people haven't driven their vehicles during the whole pandemic. This is about more than one year, and most of these people think that since they installed a brand-new battery, it won't be any problem to think about issues with the battery and start driving the vehicle immediately.
What items do I need together preparing for a pandemic road trip?
Although the mentioned checks you need to perform before hitting the road for your next pandemic road trip, there are some common items you need to have whether it's a road trip during a pandemic or not:
- Spare tires
- Things to keep kids busy if you have kids joining you on your road trip
- Phone Chargers
- Safety kits
- Car insurance and any additional important paperwork
- Jump cables
- Plastic bags to keep some sensitive components safe like your cell phone or others
- This infection wipes which you might need, especially if you're planning to stop at any Oasis
- Face masks and gloves on certain occasions, especially if you're planning to go close to people.
- Hand sanitizer to use whenever you drop off and reenter your vehicle
Are road trips a good idea during the pandemic time?
If you are a big fan of Rd trips and you've done it before, it might be a great idea to do it now during the pandemic, especially if you're not going to get closer to people and consider all other places are not opening with their full capacity.
The only thing to keep in mind is that things might be a little different when dealing with emergencies and unless you are 100% confident that you can handle the road trip. You've done it before; you might need to research more and call ahead if you're planning to visit major stops to know whether they are open to the public or not.
With the great progress and the number of people vaccinating and the good news that the country will start opening gradually, many people are getting ready for their best time, which is the summer Rd trips.
Considering that we are not selling 100% back to normal, certain things keep in mind before hitting the road.
This article provided you with a list of potential checks you need to review in your vehicle because it's been stationary for a long time. We also highlighted some additional items to bring with you in preparation for your next road trip.
If you notice that your vehicle is suffering from many problems preventing you from enjoying your next road trip, it might be the right time now to sell this car and purchase either a new or used decent vehicle that doesn't ruin your trip.
Cash Cars Buyer is one of the fewest companies that accept your vehicle even if it's been sitting idle for a long time and even if it has major mechanical problems.
To learn more about our process and our team, you can reach out to us by giving us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer