I'm going to break things that are the two general buckets.
One is to set the things you absolutely can do yourself.
The other is to set that you could do yourself, but you might want to have done at the shop.
One of the first things I do before I get to work on my car, to find out what it need is to run the code and let it tell me.
There's a wealth of information coming out of that OBD 2 port under your [UNKNOWN] And look at this.
Here's all my diagnostic codes to tell me if I have any trouble.
Looks like I don't.
By the way while you're also in here in the app store go ahead and find some kind of a fuel price app that will tell you where the cheapest stuff is where you're going in real time.
This old chestnut about using a coin still works.
Take a quarter and put it upside there in the tread gap and see if you can spot the top of George Washington's scalp.
If you can't you should be okay.
Let's make sure they got enough air in them.
I love checking the air.
It's the only thing your car will ever need that's free.
It's easy to check your pressure does go pop and you're done, and there was my read.
What should it be?
It says so on the gas door of your car.
There should be a label in there and by the way that's the cold pressure.
You check it not when you've been driving on the freeway but before you take off in the morning or something like that.
This is one of those that is pretty grimy and for a lot of folks it's gonna be beyond their Comfort or skill level, and that's okay.
If when you brake, the brakes squeal, that usually means you're into what are called the wear indicators, and once you wear down to that point, that means it's time for new pads.
Now, checking your oil is the one that everyone thinks of right off the bat, and it's an important thing to do.
Very unlikely it's going to strand you unless you're completely out of oil, in which case you suck.
You're not taking care of your car.
So go ahead and check it.
It should have a good level, and if you haven't had a change in a while go ahead and do it, but again it's not going to strand if you don't get around to it.
Who likes to be out of this?
What a bore.
And what I do is I don't buy those giant jugs.
Of pre mixed stuff.
I like to buy one of this bottles that concentrate, which is actually still kinda large.
They used to make smaller ones.
And just pour that in there and dilute the rest of the water.
Most cars today have a single belt called a serpentine belt and it connects everything.
I would not sit off on a trip unless you know that one is in good shape.
Best thing to do is to go by the mileage, it's recommended but you can also take a look in there and see if you see any cracks in those ribs or any pieces missing in those ribs.
That's a red alert.
Light bulb Light bulbs, check those all around because first of all they're an easy way to get a ticket.
What a bummer that is on a road trip.
Light bulbs of all kind, headlight or turn signal indicators are actually pretty easy to get to these days.
They're often tool free to get the module up and then of course you just unscrew the bulb and then slide the whole mess back in.
Another key thing about lights.
If you're driving a borrowed or rented car you're not familiar with, find out where the headlight position is for on versus automatic.
I can't tell you how many folks I see up there on the road presumably driving unfamiliar rental cars who have their DRLs on.
And think they have their headlights on.
Battery, there are a few things that will **** you on road trip faster or more completely than a dead one.
One of the key things to look at is to inspect your terminals.
Yarks, that's a mess, you wanna get that corrosion off there.
It reduces the ability of a charge to get in or for a charge to get out to power your car.
If you wanna get a little deeper into your batteries health or you can have this done line an auto parts shop.
You get a battery tester, it's a little more advance version of battery charger, I've got one here, it's kinda big boy, right?
Hook it up, red and black, the proper polarity.
And then you can check your batteries current charge percent and then you can start your car and also run a test on how the alternator is charging it The last thing, and it's not really prepping your car but it's loading your car, is try to kep as much as you can down low, try and put everything on the car but when you do that beware of knocking out the view of your rare view mirror, not that it's illegal in most states by the way, you can block your rare view as long as you have two functioning side view mirrors in most jurisdictions.
But my concern is that your first reaction in an emergency is to look at that rear view, and if it's blocked you just lost a step.