You’ve packed your bags, sent your pets to your family for safekeeping, and posted on social media that you are about to embark on the best road trip ever. Did you check the car? It also needs to be prepared for a drive that can take hours, miles, and days.
By way of preparation, keep an eye on the weather, road debris, and the condition of the trail. These can take a toll on your vehicle and are thus best faced when it is well protected. What follows aresome tips to protect your car.
The Long Drive Ahead
Preparation is always an important aspect of any hours-long drive. You do a thorough check on car fluids, battery terminals, hoses and belts, tires, wipers, air-conditioning, and lights to make sure they are working perfectly for the long trip ahead.
In addition to these preventive measures, look into ways to protect your car, with its exterior as being the most exposed to the elements. This helps you avoid repairs or paint jobs in the future that can drain your pockets.
How to Protect Your Car
1. Wash, Polish, Wax—in That Order
Wash your car before you leave home for the trip or as often to properly care for the car paint and keep corrosion and rust at bay. Proper car-paint maintenance can slow depreciation.
After washing comes polishing to remove dirt or impurities that won’t come off with just soap and water. The polish also targets minor scratches and defects without damaging the car paint, leaving the car looking shiny.
To top it off, wax your car for protection from the harmful UV rays and other contaminants. Applying a urethane film on the paint’s surface adds another layer of defense.
2. Load Wisely, Properly
Stow your luggage, cargo, bicycle, and other stuff carefully to avoid denting or scratching your car. More importantly, be mindful of your roof-rack capacity. You may have to buy separate racks or mounts for your bicycle and other gear.
Storage isn’t much of a problem when you have a pickup truck. You can securely fasten your cargo on the bed and cover it with a tarp. You may have to look into side rails so you won’t worry about dents when you move or transport heavy objects.
3. Opt for Safe and “Shaded” Parking
Leaving your car under the sun or heat for hours can damage its paint, causing it to crack or fade. You can wax your car for protection as noted above. For another layer of protection, look for a shaded area when parking your car.
As a matter of safety, park at the most conspicuous, well-lit spot in the motel or wherever you will be staying for the night. This to prevent car break-in or theft.
4. Prepare Your Tires
There’s a good reason why you need to check your tires before the actual trip. Underinflated tires can waste your fuel, thus increasing your gas expenses. You can have an auto professional to check your air pressure as well as to rotate the tires to evenly distribute the wear and maximize their performance.
While driving, you would come across dirt, mud, rocks, slush, and muck. Tires, especially if they are bigger, could send them flying. There may be also other flying road debris to watch out for. Road debris can land on your vehicle or someone else’s and cause damage. Protect it with Ford Ranger fender flares. This gear provides the aesthetics and function needed to survive the road.
By taking measures to protect your car, you are protecting yourself and others while having the best time exploring the world outside.