Imagine this: you’re on the road with your friends, enjoying the feel of the surrounding views and listening to good music, when suddenly your car breaks down. Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere is probably one of the worst nightmares to happen. Instead of enjoying a good vacation, you’re waiting for the mechanic and tow service to help with your car. This doesn’t have to happen.

One of the rules before going on a road trip is to do a complete car check-up. Skipping this step will likely lead you to the scenario above.

Before you hit the road, here are a few things you need to take care of:

  1. Perform basic maintenance.

Schedule a check-up with your mechanic to do a routine maintenance on your vehicle before you head out. See if fluids are at the right level – the engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. Check if there are loose connections with the hoses and belt. A car in top shape has a higher chance of staying efficient and reliable when you’re on the road.

  1. Check your tires.

Tires are often the next ones to give out after being on the road for a long time. Make sure the tread depth is appropriate to provide your car with enough traction when you’re driving. Check the tire pressure, as well – don’t inflate your tires too much to prevent a blowout. You should also have a spare tire in your trunk just in case one of your tires blows out.

  1. Don’t neglect your car batteries.

Always stay charged – you can’t run your car if your battery is low on power. The last thing you want is to jumpstart your car every time you make a stopover. It’s also important to keep your batteries clean to avoid electrical problems and prolong their life.

  1. Keep your brakes in good condition.

Your braking system keeps you out of trouble when you’re speeding. Check your brake pads – if they’re worn out, replace them before your trip. Watch out for signs, such as unusual noises and difficulty in slowing down when driving. The faster you replace those worn-out brake pads, the safer you’ll be on the road.

Even if you don’t see any problems, don’t take your vehicle for granted. Routine check-up can draw the line between an enjoying your road trip and getting stranded. Whether you’re driving a short distance or going halfway across the country, make sure your car can take the road challenge.