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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For some who have taken many road trips, the attached AAA article is elemental, but had good reminders for us all. However, for those who are about to take their first or second one, some good-sense preparation recommendations.

AAA said:
9 TIPS TO GET ROAD TRIP-READY FOR SPRING

The weather this winter has been unusually difficult—making it hard to get where you need to go and putting extra strain on your vehicle. Luckily, spring is just around the corner and with it, comes milder temperatures, less rain and snow, and the blossoming of the beautiful flora that this area is known for.

With warmer weather on the way, now is the perfect time to get your car ready for fun spring road trips—whether you’re headed to the coast or planning a family camping adventure. Here are nine great tips for getting your car in tip-top shape, so you can avoid any unexpected surprises that may affect your spring travel plans.

1. Thoroughly clean your vehicle’s exterior:

The combination of salt and sand used to de-ice major roads this winter can be highly corrosive to metal, with the potential to damage the body and drivetrain of your vehicle. The best way to prevent this is to thoroughly clean your car’s exterior to get rid of any salt, sand, and dirt buildup. You can easily do this at home, or take your car to the local car wash. Once you’ve completely cleaned off all of the dirt and grime, be sure to apply wax to protect your car’s paint job.

2. Check your tires:

If you installed snow tires this winter, there are a few steps that you should take before switching back to your regular tires. Start by thoroughly rinsing the area, then apply lubricant to the threads of the lug nuts to prevent them from getting stuck in case you need to change a flat tire later this year. Even if you didn’t switch to snow tires this winter, this is a great preventative action to take to avoid any tire issues down the road.

3. Inspect your brakes:

When the roads are clear in spring, people tend to drive faster—putting more stress on your brake components than winter driving. That’s why it’s important to inspect your brakes before hitting the road. If you see rust flaking from the edges of your brake pads or any cracks in the braking material or hoses, it’s a smart idea to visit a mechanic for a proper brake check. That way, you can prevent sticking, pulling brakes, and any premature wear—keeping your vehicle in great shape and ensuring your safety.

4. Clear moisture from your vehicle’s interior:

In winter, it’s common for moisture to seep into your vehicle’s interior—especially if you drive an older car or tend to park under trees or other vegetation. Removing this moisture is key for preventing corrosion, mold spore growth, and electrical system wear. To get started, look for tell-tale signs like your windows fogging on the inside, the smell of mildew inside your car or trunk, or water accumulation under your spare tire. If you spot any of these issues, you may have a water leak and should clear the moisture out of your car to prevent further problems—whether on your own or with the help of your local auto shop. You may have also tracked in snow and ice to your vehicle’s interior, in which case, you should remove your mats and put them somewhere to dry—or use a vacuum to get rid of as much water as you can.

5. Check your oil;

Be sure to inspect your oil to make sure that it’s an amber color. If it’s black, it’s time to replace it. Take your car to the shop for an oil change or do it yourself. If you only drive short distances and keep your car outside, you may want to change your oil even if it looks clean, as oil tends to accumulate damaged compounds faster in winter due to lower temperatures and higher humidity.

6. Check your antifreeze:

Antifreeze (also known as coolant) does more than keep the water in your cooling system from freezing—it also prevents it from corroding, lubricates the water pump, and raises the boiling point of the water. That’s why it’s important to keep your levels full year-round—not just in winter. You can buy premixed antifreeze that’s ready to use if you want to do it yourself or take it to an auto shop for help. If you choose to do it yourself, be sure to check your owner’s manual for the type of coolant you should use, as some car manufacturers now use specific formulas. You should always avoid mixing different types of coolant, as it could cause your car to overheat and prevent it from performing at its best.

7. Inspect all of your car’s other fluids:

While you’re checking your antifreeze levels, inspect all of your car’s other fluids—like transmission, power steering, brake, and windshield washer fluids. If any of them are looking low, be sure to top them off in accordance with your car’s owner’s manual recommendations. Pay special attention to your brake fluid—it should be clear or amber. If it looks brown or black, it’s time to change it. If you take your car to the shop for an oil change, they’ll often check fluid levels and top things off for you, but be sure to ask the mechanic to confirm.

8. Check your battery and battery connections:

Your car’s battery is often overlooked and under-serviced, but it’s a crucial component in keeping your car operating at its best. Luckily, as part of your AAA membership, you can schedule a battery and electrical test at your convenience—for no extra charge. We’ll come to your location and give your vehicle a thorough battery, starter, and charging test. Then, we’ll let you know if it’s ready to handle the demands of spring driving, so you can have peace of mind when you hit the road.

9. Check your other equipment:

Make sure that your windshield wipers, inside and outside lights, and air conditioning are functioning properly. If your wipers or lights aren’t working, you can often fix the problem yourself by swapping out your wiper blades or lightbulbs—or you can visit an auto shop to have them take care of it for you. If doing it yourself doesn’t fix the problem or if your air conditioning isn’t working, you should definitely visit an auto repair shop. Spotting A/C problems early is important, as a simple recharge will likely take care of the issue. Waiting too long to service your A/C system can often lead to additional, more complicated issues and repairs, so it’s best to be proactive and stay on top on it. Keeping your A/C in tip-top shape is important not just for your comfort, it’s also key for safety, as the most efficient way to defrost windows is to run your air conditioning and heater simultaneously.
Source=AAA

Do you have additional road trip recommendations?
 

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For some who have taken many road trips, the attached AAA article is elemental, but had good reminders for us all. However, for those who are about to take their first or second one, some good-sense preparation recommendations.

Do you have additional road trip recommendations?
Thanks for sharing this excellent and comprehensive list!

One recommendation I have is that whether you're preparing for a road trip or not, make sure you flush your brake fluid every two years or so. That used to be standard, but it seems to have dropped off the list of regular maintenance for some cars. The issue is that over time the fluid absorbs moisture, the moisture lowers the brake fluid's boiling point, and that could be an issue on a trip where you're asking a lot of the braking system (e.g., a ten-mile, steep downhill stretch on a mountainous Colorado state highway, esp. when you're driving in a spirited manner). A quality auto shop will have a brake fluid moisture tester on the premises, and they'll be able to advise you regarding the moisture content of your brake fluid.

Staying on brakes for a moment, unless you're confident as to your remaining brake pad thickness, I'd recommend popping them out yourself or having your shop do it to see just how much pad is left. If they're nearing the end of their life and you're embarking on a 6,500-mile trip, you might consider replacing them before departing. It's relatively inexpensive insurance, and it may prevent the inconvenience of your getting hung-up for a few hours, or a day if you're really out in the sticks.

Regarding "...apply lubricant to the threads of the lug nuts to prevent them from getting stuck in case you need to change a flat tire later this year.", this advice is for people who do not keep the threads of their wheel bolts/wheel studs CLEAN and DRY. If you or your shop are swapping between winter tires and summer tires twice a year, it's very likely that the threads are kept CLEAN and DRY by the person doing the work. The advice to lubricate threads generally applies to owners who have their wheels removed very infrequently, often not even bothering to rotate the tires on a scheduled basis. Note that lubricating threads will change the applied torque when tightening the wheel bolts/lug nuts - if the torque setting is 95 ft-lbs, for example, the applied torque may be closer to 105-110 ft-lbs. This is unlikely to matter, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of it.

Finally, if you're a AAA member, as I am, before embarking on an extended journey it may be worthwhile taking advantage of AAA's "thorough battery, starter, and charging test". Again, why not find out before departing if an issue is likely to rear its ugly head at an inconvenient time.
 

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I'm surprised to see no check for correct tyre pressures - including the spare?
 
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I always carry a few tools for simple repairs, a small first aid kit, an LED flashlight (small and bright), and a blanket (New England winters!). I also have a jumper box, that has an emergency light and also has USB ports, My wife keeps this in her car all the time, but if we are going on a long trip with my car, we take that also.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thansk @sc489 and @Ranchero for adding in additional important things. Here are some others that we personally do -- that all relate to a safe/functional road trip. There are below additional road trip prep items for our vehicle trips:

My forum name relates to road trips being our favorite activity. Last year we did four trips totaling 14,000 miles, and already have our first two trips for this year scheduled; those two will alone total 8,200 miles and more to be added later.

The first three relate to redundancy in case something bad happens.

1) We always take three credit cards: one in my wallet, a different one in my wife's purse and a third different one hidden inside the vehicle. Just last summer had one card hacked, and still had two useable ones. Theft or loss are other reasons for this redundancy.

2) We similarly divide our cash into thirds, in the same three places.

3) We take two cell phones and two chargers.

4) We always carry a 12 pack of bottled water for three reasons:
A) If needed for the radiator;
B) If needed for our health/safety;
C) If we arrive at a part of the country where the water tastes and/or smells so bad, can not drink it. And to avoid buying more, if where we are staying that night has good water, we fill up that day's emptied water bottles;

5) We have a good amount of microfiber (MF) towels, for the worst thing for our paint is a "bird bomb" which is highly acidic. Also a spray bottle of paint detailer to use with the MF's and one of window cleaner.

6) We always travel with a hand tire pump or a small electric one which works off the "lighter" socket; and a good quality tire pressure gauge. Under inflated tires are the single biggest cause of blowouts/flat tires.

If we head into the mountains, experience a strong cold or warm weather front, will check/adjust tire pressures before setting out in the morning.

Other ideas???
 
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