Top 7 important things to check before a road trip

Top 7 important things to check before a road trip

Mar 15, 2018, 6:39:52 PM Life and Styles

Are you planning a road trip in the upcoming season? Well, it's indeed a great time to plan and head out for an adventurous road trip.

However, irrespective of whether you are planning a short distance road trip or a long-distance one, it's always recommended to take a note of a few important things.

This will certainly make your experience seamless, hassle-free, and exciting. So, what are you waiting for?

Simply, gear up and become prepared for a memorable and adventurous road trip. For your reference, this article will reveal 7 important things to check before a road trip.

1. Leaks and hoses


The very first thing that you're recommended to check before a road trip -- is "leaks and hoses". Obviously, the largest part of a vehicle is mechanical, but hydraulics still plays an important role. Hoses are required to move the hydraulic fluids from one component to the another (inside a vehicle).

Unfortunately, hoses are quite prone to wear & tear. With time, hose pipes eventually decay and cause leaks. Exposure to extremely high temperatures mainly causes hose leaks with fluids spraying out.

That's why it's important to ensure that the hoses are perfectly working fine before you plan to head out your car for a road trip (to avoid future problems).

2. Tires

A thorough tire check should be an integral part of your pre-trip routine. Not only a basic tire inspection is vital for your safety, but also it boosts your fuel economy. Please make sure that they are in a top-notch shape before you actually hit the road.

Closely inspect the current state of the tires. Also, check for any cracks, cuts, bruises, and splits in the tread & sidewall area. If any problem is found, do not hesitate to consult with a professional before heading out on a road trip.

3. Engine oil and coolant


The engine oil makes the components lubricated. Likewise, the coolant controls the engine temperature. Needless to mention, both of these two fluids play an important role in the actual functionality of the motor.

Hence, these two things (engine oil and coolant) must be checked prior to any trip). For example, if the engine oil appears to be too much black, then you may need to change it. Similarly, if the engine oil level is low, you may top it with the same kind of oil that your engine already has.

Apart from that, you should also check the engine coolant level as well. If the level is appearing low, you may top it with the recommended kind of coolant.

4. Lights


Before your dream road trip, you should visually inspect the tail lights, headlights, and turn signals. If they are found cracked, broken, or dirty, they need to be repaired, replaced, or cleaned. Note, dirty and unclean headlights will reduce the visibility and effectiveness of light beam, making driving dangerous.

You should also replace defunct and weak bulbs. Please make sure that the lights are not misty and foggy before commencing the journey. Ideally, you are recommended to carry a few spare bulbs to avoid problems (that may arise during your trip).

5. Brakes

As a pre-trip vehicle inspection, you are advised to monitor your brake pads. Partially worn brakes can be quite difficult to detect. However, a partially worn brake system may prove to be fatal and dangerous.

To be on the safer side and enjoy a safe and pleasant road trip, thoroughly inspect the brake system of your car. If you are not sure about how to monitor your brake pads, you may require taking your vehicle to the nearby service center. For an added precaution, do not forget to carry an additional pair of brake pads.

6. Gas Cap


Fuel filler cap or gas cap is a simple yet important car component. It prevents dirt, dust, and debris from entering into the gas tank. In this way, it acts as a reliable seal.

Also note, the gas cap plays a vital role in the overall operation of the evaporative emissions system of your vehicle. That's why you must check whether your gas cap is working properly or it's faulty (prior to a road trip). A faulty gas cap can cause a plenty of problems, starting from setting off Check Engine Light to other potential issues.

7. Catalytic Converter


Catalytic Converter, an inbuilt car component is used to minimize vehicle emissions & pollution. It converts the car's emissions into non-harmful gases.

A faulty, failing, or bad catalytic converter will negatively affect the performance of your car engine. As a result, it will cause reduced fuel economy and rattling sounds. Obviously, on your road trip, you want to avoid these problems that may be caused due to a faulty Catalytic Converter. Therefore, you are requested to inspect your Catalytic Converter before-hand.

Check your car with an OBDII automotive scan tool before a road trip

With this, you have revealed seven important things that should be checked before a road trip. Unfortunately, if you are not a Pro, then you either need to take an expert's help or visit a car diagnostic shop to inspect the aforementioned safety checks. But, the professional mechanics may charge you a hefty amount of fees for these simple vehicle inspection.

To avoid this, you can actually perform a vehicle inspection with the help of an automotive scanner.

What is OBDII automotive scan tool?


You must be wondering -- what's OBDII automotive scanner or how it can help you check your vehicle modules. Well, OBDII automotive scanner is nothing but an electronic tool that's used to diagnose and reprogram the vehicle control modules. For your reference, here's a list of important functionalities that an OBDII automotive scanner can offer.

  • Read and clear codes.

  • Store and play live data.

  • Read both manufacturer-specific and generic trouble codes.

  • Graph data.

  • Provide troubleshooting tips.

  • Display pending codes.

  • Provide various trouble code definitions.

Top Detailed Reviews of the Best OBD Scan Tools are available at

How to check your car with an OBDII automotive scan tool?

Connecting your car with an OBDII automotive scanner is extremely easy. All you will need to locate the OBDII diagnostic port of your car, connect the scanner, and simply plug in the device. Based on the model, the automotive scanner may ask you to enter the make & model of the car, the engine type, and the VIN etc. Precisely follow all of the onscreen instructions and you are ready to use it for inspecting the vehicle.

The Conclusion

With this, you have understood that -- there are a total of seven important things that you must check prior to a road trip. Whether you are a frequent traveler or you are planning a first-time road trip, these trips will surely be helpful for you. In this context, you can use an ODBII automotive scan tool to easily inspect your car and avoid the hassles of calling a mechanic.

Published by Zachary McGavin

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