Road trips are a lot of fun, but they can also put a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle. As always, proper planning and maintenance is crucial before you depart on your next adventure.

Normally, you would see a post like this in the beginning of the summer, but with the holidays right around the corner I thought I would save it for today.

Step 1: Check Your Tires

Anytime you are preparing for a long trip it is vital that your tires are in tip-top shape, as you will likely be doing a lot of highway driving at a high rate of speed. A great little trick is to pull out a penny, flip President Lincoln onto his head and place it between a few treads. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for a change.

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Step 2: Replace Your Windshield Wipers

Really think about it, when is the last time you changed your windshield wipers? If you’re anything like me, it often slips your mind during your regular maintenance work. To stay on the safe side, hop on over to your favorite auto parts store and pick up a pair. It only takes a few minutes to change them and will make a huge difference in your visibility in unfavorable conditions.

Step 3: Check Your Battery

If your battery is corroded or the connections appear loose, try cleaning it and tightening the wires and cords that connect to the positive and negative ports. Use a voltmeter to test the connections. The voltmeter will tell you if you’re getting the proper amount of power. If you’re not, it’s better to change the battery now rather than later. You don’t want to stop for gas and end up having to ask for a jump.

Step 4: Flush The Radiator

As a general rule, you should be replacing your coolant once per year. So go ahead and empty that bad boy out and fill it up with new fluid.

Step 5: Replace Your Air Filter

You should be replacing your air filter twice per year. It only takes a minute…don’t be lazy. Get out there and do it.

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-Ben Taylor

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Mack Hanson is a professional automotive tool specialist with National Tool Warehouse and Mechanics Tools Warehouse. He writes about Auto Repair, Auto Performance, Motorcycle Performance and General Maintenance.

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