What To Check Before You Travel With Your Baby In Your Car
There is always a desire for adventure in everyone. When spring arrives, this longing for adventure is usually stirred up. The warm weather and the blue skies during spring is enough to make you load up your car and just hit the road. However, before you go on a road trip with your baby, you need to make sure that you can rely on your car.
When going for a road trip with a baby, the last thing that you want to experience is getting stranded in the middle of nowhere as a result of your car breaking down. You also need your car to be in the best condition for the sake of your safety and that of your baby. Car care is therefore very important, especially before using them as your means of transport.
Here are some basic car maintenance tasks that you should carry out if you don’t want your journey to end up as a horror movie cliché.
1. Check Your Car Fluids
Fluids are like your car’s lifeblood. Checking your car’s fluid system is, therefore, a very important maintenance task that you should carry out regularly, especially before going on a road trip. Your car fluids include engine oil, brake fluid, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid and windshield fluid.
Oil is very critical for your car’s engine. You don’t need to be a car expert to know that. Your car’s engine consists of several moving components like the camshafts, crankshafts and pistons.
These moving components need to be lubricated to reduce wear and tear. Before travelling, check the condition of your car’s engine oil using a dipstick. The dipstick also lets you check the oil fill level.
If you notice that your car’s engine oil is gritty, black or below the minimum, you should have it checked out and replaced right away.
The brake fluid is very important. Your life depends on it. This is because for your car to come to a halt; you have to step on the brake pedals. The pedals then push the brake fluid which then compresses the brake pads.
These brake pads then clamp on your car’s wheel to slow it down. Making sure that your car brake fluid is in good condition is thus very necessary before a road trip. The brake fluid should always be flushed after every 36000 miles.
When you step on your brake pedal and you notice that it feels spongy, then it could be a sign that the brake fluid is contaminated and that it should be topped off.
Apart from the brake fluid, your car’s transmission fluid is also one of the car fluids that should be regularly checked and replaced. The transmission fluid will help the gears to mesh smoothly whenever you change gears. Transmission fluids should always be replaced after every 60000 miles.
The condition of your car’s tires determines your comfort, safety and fuel efficiency. Your tires should have the right air pressure if you don’t want to waste gas. You should also ensure that you replace worn out tires.
Worn out tires can burst anytime and put your safety at risk, especially if you are driving on a busy highway during your road trip.
3. General Maintenance
Apart from car fluids and tires, your car also has several components that need to be maintained for them to be in good working conditions. These components include:
They are responsible for slowing down your car whenever you want your car to come to a halt. Due to friction, the brake pads usually wear out with each use. When this happens, they become too thin hence making them less efficient.
Whenever you hear a squealing or screeching noise when you apply brakes, then it means that the brake pads are worn out. You should check your brakes to make sure that the brake pads are in good condition. By replacing the brake pads, you will make traveling in your car much safer and also eliminate the noise.
Air filters help to protect the engine or interior of your car by preventing gunk from entering your car’s engine. With time, your car’s air filters will reach their capacity. The gunk will thus make their way into your car’s engine.
This will adversely impact the performance of your car engine. Your car’s interior air quality will thus be negatively impacted. When traveling with your baby for your road trip, then you need to make sure that the air filters in your car are in good condition.
You don’t want your baby to develop breathing complications due to poor interior air quality in your car.
Your car’s battery should also be in the best condition before you set out on your road trip. It will be so unfortunate should your car battery die down while you are miles away from civilization. To prepare yourself for the worst, ensure that you carry some jumper cables just in case your battery decides to let you down unexpectedly.
Wind Shield Wiper
When you are on the road, you never know when the weather might change for the worse. Your car’s windshield wiper should be functional so that you can drive through any weather. You might encounter some pretty bad snow if you are traveling during winter. Apart from having quality windshield wipers, your windshield wiper fluid should also be plenty to last you through the entire trip.
When preparing yourself to hit the road, you have to make sure that your car is also ready for the road trip. A pre-trip auto-maintenance and checkup are what could make all the difference. By having your car checked up before you travel, your car will return the favor by taking care of you during your trip.
However, having your car repaired before your trip is not a guarantee that it cannot break down during the trip, although the chances are very minimal. As a result, we highly recommend that you carry a car emergency kit while planning to travel with your baby in the car.