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How to Prepare Your Car for a Long Road Trip

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A full tank of gas and an open road are a road tripper's dream. Driving across the country can be a phenomenal experience. You can stop and see the sights, pull over for breaks, and you're free to change your route whenever you'd like. However, there are a few things that can set you back during your highway haul. Before you hit the road, check your vehicle to make sure everything is in working order.

Schedule a service center appointment

Give your vehicle a thorough checkup before you're miles away from your regular auto shop. Consumer Reports suggests having your fluid levels checked and even getting an oil change or a tune-up before tackling a lengthy road trip.

Avoid shocking road trip experiences

While you're at it, make sure your car battery is in tip-top condition. There's nothing worse than getting stranded in an unfamiliar location trying to wave down a driver with your jumper cables in hand. Make sure there are no buildups near the battery terminals, and check your battery's date. Car batteries can begin dying after three years or so, according to HubPages.

Beware bald tires

Take a close look at your tires. If there are any bulges, tears or if they're going bald, you may want to get some new rubber before you start the drive. Even if your tires look fine, the Department of Motor Vehicles suggests you should make sure your car jack is in working order and your spare tire is fully inflated and has good treads. Also, make sure you know how to change a tire before hitting the road. That spare won't help much if you don't know how to put it on.

Create an emergency kit

You never know what you could run into during a long road trip. Build a road trip kit to cover all of your bases. Make sure you bring a flashlight, a map, a first-aid kit, water and a pack of tools just in case. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Check all of your documentation

In case you're pulled over by traffic authorities far away from home, make sure you have all of your personal information in one central location in the car. Always have your license, car insurance information and vehicle registration nearby and that it's all up to date.

The information contained here is provided by Brafton. AIG Travel assumes no responsibility for the use, accuracy, or interpretation of the information contained herein.