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Going on a Road Trip? Get Your Car Checked by a Mechanic First

two mechanics checking a car
4 PM Production/Shutterstock

As summer turns to fall, you still have time to plan a fun road trip before the weather turns. Will your car make it safely to your dream destination?

Taking a car on a road trip is a far cry from taking it on your usual commute. Most of the time, when your car breaks down or has an issue, help isn’t too far off. But on a road trip, you could find yourself stranded far from the nearest cell tower.

You need to prepare your car with regular maintenance and needed repairs before you drive off into the sunset. But if you’ve never changed the oil or checked your own tire pressure, the task can seem too daunting to handle.

Although it’s good to learn the basics of caring for your own car, right before you leave for a road trip isn’t the time. To ensure your safety on the road, just take your car to your trusted mechanic and tell them you’re planning a road trip. They’ll gladly check everything for you and make sure you’re good to go—and tell you what needs attention right now and which issues aren’t pressing but you should be aware of.

If you don’t have a mechanic yet, you can often get the same check done at a chain repair shop or even, sometimes, a chain oil change shop—although ideally you want to get the check done by an actual mechanic. This will ensure you can hit the road with confidence. And, before you go, make sure to read our detailed road trip preparation checklist—we’ve pulled together all the basics you should cover for a safe, fun time.

Elyse Hauser Elyse Hauser
Elyse Hauser is a Seattle-based writer and editor with a Master's in Writing Studies from Saint Joseph's University. Her work has appeared in publications like Racked, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and Rum Punch Press. She was awarded a 2017 Writing Between the Vines residency.  Read Full Bio »

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