How To Get Your Car Ready for a Road Trip #Travel

10:11 AM

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cooper Tire for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

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I don't consider myself an expert on road trips, but I have done enough to know what it takes to get ready for one. Last year the boys and I took a 50 day road trip across the Southwest and we followed that up with a #70DayRoadTrip across the Northwest this Summer. In December, we will be heading out on a three week road trip through Louisiana. Before you head out on an adventure, there are a few things you should do to get your car ready for a road trip. These are things I do each time we plan a new trip. After all, Bob the Van isn't as young as he used to be!

Change Your Oil

This one is kind of a no-brainer. Changing your oil will help your vehicle run at its absolute best. Doing this before you even head out on the road is a great preventative measure. No one wants to be stopping for an oil change in the middle of their vacation.

Inspect Your Windshield Wipers

Road trips are all about driving long distances. Many times, you will find yourself in the middle of bad weather and heavy rainfall. We have been caught in some incredible storms on our road trips, and before I leave on a new adventure, I always inspect the windshield wipers to see if they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive act that can make all the difference in your visibility should bad weather come.

Update Your GPS

I forgot to update our GPS before our 70 day road trip this summer, and we ended up in the middle of a corn field when we thought we were heading to Denny's. We also had trouble locating a new hotel that had just opened on a brand new road within the last year. A lot can change in a short amount of time, so make sure your GPS is fully updated before you head out on a road trip.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Fix a flat, extra food and water, a first aid kit, flares, etc. These are all useful things that can be placed in a small emergency kit in your trunk. You never know what can happen on a road trip, but imagine what would happen if you broke down in the dessert with no water. This is something we do not leave home without. Make sure you have a working jack, lug wrench and other tools that may be needed for basic car repairs too. If you're traveling in cold weather months, be sure you have some snow chains for your tires too.

Have a Thorough Inspection Done

One of the most important things you can do to get your car ready for a road trip is to have a thorough inspection of your vehicle done a month or so before you leave. I didn't think there was anything wrong with our van before our trip this year, but when I had it inspected, the power steering pump was bad, serpentine belt needed replaced, and the breaks were worn. This wouldn't have been fun to discover once we were on the road, so having it done beforehand saved us some time and money.

Check Your Tires

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Perhaps the single most important thing you can do before leaving on a road trip is to check your tires. A blown tire at high speeds is not fun at all. Although you can't control what might be on the road, you can control the condition of your tires. Replace any worn tires before you leave, and be sure to check the condition of your spare.
If you are headed out on a road trip soon, then you can save on new tires during Cooper Tire's Fall Reward Event. Now through October 31st, you can receive up to a $70 Visa prepaid card with the purchase of a new set of four qualifying Cooper tires at participating locations. You can find full details at

Cooper Tires also wants to help rekindle the idea of everyday road trips, with a new social media sweepstakes. Just post favorite moments of your daily travel in your car using the #RollWithCooper hashtag on Cooper Tire’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages, and you could win great road trip prizes like a $5,000 gas gift card, a winter car-care kit or a camouflage-themed prize pack. So be sure to enter today!
Do you have any tips for how to get your car ready for a road trip? Feel free to share your tips in the comments below.

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  1. This is a great reminder list! Our last road trip was from Iowa to Florida and oh buddy, it was a trip!

  2. Before a road trip is a great time to check everything. These are also great reminders as we go into winter to make sure we have the car safe for the wintery season.

  3. This is a great list, also reminded me we need to get our vehicles winter ready.

  4. Great tips!
    We just got back from seeing my parents so I know we are 1/2 way ready for winter.
    Time to find the blankets and candles.
    Winter here can be so nasty.

  5. We forgot to check our tires before a road trip recently, and our gas mileage suffered until we could stop and fill them up. Luckily they weren't too flat!

  6. When you have a newer car you forget to do these things but it should really be done with any age car.

  7. We were prepared for our road trip this past month too! We filled our tires, and changed the oil. Plus, we cleaned the felt like it just drove better after that!

  8. I'll follow these car tips for our next road trip.

  9. These are some great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Great tips. It is super important to have the car in good working order, breaking down on a highway could be really bad.

  11. These are good tips for road trips. Often, people forget to get the car ready for the trip.

  12. These are great tips. We always make sure the car is in good shape before going on a long trip.

  13. I would always make sure the tires and oil were fine - but didn't think about everything else. Great tips.

  14. Updating theGPS for road trips is an absolute must. We took a road trip this year and lost about 2 hours due to the gps! yuck!

  15. Very good tips - hubby always makes sure we are safe to go.

  16. Inspect your windshield wipers is such a great tip! You don't want to get caught in a storm with faulty ones!

  17. I always try to make sure my car is in great shape when we road trip. Tires are extremely important.

  18. Great reminder for those coming into cold weather. I miss my home sweet home Chicago often but def not this LOL Vegas is great in the winter!

  19. These are great tips! We've always had older cars, so being prepared for being on the road has been essential.

  20. The article you wrote on really is going to give people value. I really like your blog and you provide us a great information. Thank You!

  21. Such great tips! It takes just a few minutes to check our car over but could really help us om long trips!

  22. We always take great car in making a checklist before we hit the road, but my main thing is keeping an up to date emergency kit in the car.

  23. Have a Thorough Inspection Done I think is a HUGE thing. There is nothing worse than haaving a major breakdown while on the road. I mean some things they wont know but they would know if a belt was about to go or if you have a problem you might think isnt huge and it is,

    ellen beck

  24. Thanks for the important car tips.



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