A car is a second home to many people. It’s where people spend an average of 1 hour and 30 minutes or more each day, or about 50% more time than the typical American spends at their house. For this reason, it’s important to prepare your vehicle for your relocation before you move into your new place. Here are six ways you can get ready ahead of time.
1. Check All Fluids
The first step to preparing your car for a move is checking all fluids. You’ll want to make sure that your brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and oil levels are where they should be before throwing the moving boxes in the back seat. If you’re worried about the safety of your power steering fluid, drain it and replace it with fresh fluid. Otherwise, check that it’s between the MIN and MAX fill lines.
Make sure your oil level is full (or on the dipstick). A new car should have its engine break-in period completed before moving day. Make sure you check the owner’s manual on your car to see the manufacturer’s recommended fluid levels.
2. Get an Estimate for Fuel Costs
With recent gas prices, it might be a good idea to calculate how much you’ll have to pay for the gas you need. You want to make sure you have enough fuel in your car before moving day. It’s important to get an estimate on how much the trip will cost so you can add a little extra money on top of what your car needs for regularly scheduled fill-ups. Most people who move between states usually drive more than 400 miles, so be sure to add a little extra to cover the extended driving trip.
3. Fill the Tank with Gas
Once you’ve confirmed that your fluids are at the right level, it’s time to fill up the tank. You’ll want to make sure this is done before you move, so you don’t forget. Otherwise, you might find yourself sitting on the side of the road with less than a mile left until you can pump gas. It might also be a good idea to fill a jerrican or gas can to keep in the trunk just in case you run out during your trip.
4. Check Tire Pressure and Suspension
You should schedule an appointment with your local tire shop before moving day so they can replace the treads on all four tires. It’s also important to rotate them if needed and check that your spare is properly inflated. If your tires are old, you might want to consider replacing them with new ones for added tire safety.
It’s also important to have the suspension checked before moving day to make sure all parts are working properly. It can be very dangerous if any of these systems fail while driving on the highway or in an active area like New York City or Los Angeles. Even a single tire blowout can cause thousands of dollars in damage and extensive repairs to your vehicle if not handled properly. In any case, suppose you have an older vehicle that might not be able to handle the load of all your possessions. It’s better to err on the side of caution and rent a flat-top trailer where you can store all your items.
5. Pack Spare Parts and Tools
It never seems to fail; you are halfway through a road trip when you start hearing some unusual noises. It could be anything from an oil drip to water dripping into your exhaust system or air conditioner not blowing as forcefully as it should.
To be sure you don’t get stranded with many miles left to go until your destination, you should pack a spare tire and a spare fan belt in the trunk. You should also carry any extra essential parts in case something happens to one of these during the drive. These parts include fuses, spark plugs, headlight bulbs, etc.
6. Clean Your Car Inside and Out
Now that you’ve checked the fluids, gassed up, and filled your tires with air, there’s one last step: cleaning your car. Reach into the crevices and remove any dust and grime that’s accumulated over the years. Vacuum the entire floorboard and wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth or water-based cleaner. You can then run your whole interior through a car wash before packing it up for the long trip to your new home.
It’s important to prepare your vehicle before moving day so you can reduce the risk of getting stranded or encountering any other problems. Car maintenance is an essential part of this process, and you should get this done at least a few weeks in advance if possible. Make sure all fluids are topped off, tires have sufficient pressure, and that the suspension system isn’t leaking anything. You also want to pack spare parts like fuses and headlight bulbs just in case something happens on the road trip. Finally, make sure everything inside your car is clean from the dust accumulation or grime buildup since dirt won’t do much good when transporting your belongings across state lines.