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Road Trip Car Maintenance TipsSpring Break is here, and, for many, this means a road trip. As much as you might want to just jump in the car and get away, it’s important to take the time for some vehicle maintenance so you don’t end up needing towing in DFW or anywhere else. Whether your plans involve a short trip or a long one, with stops in between, your car will need to be inspected for minor issues that may have the potential to become serious if not dealt with properly.

Pre-Trip Tips

Professional Maintenance

If you’re not skilled at maintaining your vehicle on your own, it’s important to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic, prior to a road trip, to make sure important factors are addressed.

According to, the following are some ways to make sure your car is working well prior to your trip:

  • Check the engine oil and your automatic transmission fluid. If your next oil change or transmission change is due soon, you should take care of it before you leave.
  • Check the engine antifreeze (coolant) level in the overflow tank. Remember, never open the radiator cap if your car engine is hot. Any leaks you discover should be fixed immediately because a lack of coolant while you are traveling may cause the engine to overheat, which can lead to serious damage.
  • If you feel that your battery's cranking speed is slower than before, it is probably time for you to replace it. (Typically, a battery lasts from two to five years.)
  • Check the brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer reservoir.
  • Change the air filter if you haven't done so recently.
  • Look for anything irregular, including leaks and loose clamps.
  • Check the tire pressure, including the spare, and if you feel any vibration when you are at cruising speed, have your tires balanced. (Uneven tire wear indicates an alignment problem, and improper wheel alignment may cause a car to skid when you are traveling at high speed.)
  • All front-wheel drive and many four-wheel drive cars have constant velocity (CV) joints to transfer the torque to the front wheels, and if a boot is broken, it needs to be replaced before you go on your trip. If you have wheel locks installed in your vehicle, locate the key and the wrench to open the wheel nuts too.
  • Check the horn, the windshield wipers, and all the lights in your car. You should replace the wipers or get rubber refills if they don't clean the windshield perfectly, and have some extra light bulbs on hand, as well. Depending on the season and your location, you should also make sure that the heater and air conditioner are in good working order.
Don’t Rely Solely on GPS

A GPS, or Global Positioning System, is used by most drivers now, but it should not be your sole source for finding your way to your destination. Map out your route, online, and print it out or buy a paper map. GPS, like all technology, can malfunction and you don’t want to be without a map if it stops working. Also, with new road construction, detours may be inevitable, and a recently printed paper map may provide you with more information on the best alternate route.

Make Sure You Have an Owner’s Manual

Your owner’s manual will provide you with the best information about your vehicle while away from home. From how to change a tire, to fuse replacement, to towing capacity, your owner’s manual will help you handle vehicle issues effectively while you’re on the road, so make sure you have one with you. It’s best to review it before you leave so you can make sure you have all the tools you may need such as a jack for a tire change.

Fully Charged Cell Phone

If you have followed all the tips above and still find yourself on the side of the road, don’t forget to have a fully charged cell phone to call for help. Many towing companies throughout the U.S. offer help just like Titan Towing offers roadside assistance in DFW. Also, some insurance companies offer roadside assistance as well.

Taking the time to do a little maintenance and pre-planning before you leave can ensure you avoid some vehicle related issues before they may happen. However, if you still happen to be in the area and need roadside assistance in DFW, Titan Towing can help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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