Tips for Road-Trip Readiness: 5 Things All Subaru Owners Need to Know

Car Maintenance for Long Road Trips - Service Questions at Carlsen Subaru

It's time to hit the road, Jack! With fuel prices low and modern cars boasting quieter, smoother and more efficient engines than ever, the road trip remains a popular way for families to get out and see all this country has to offer. If you've never tried a cross-country road trip before, there's nothing to it! Especially not when you know you and your car are ready for whatever lies ahead. Here are five tips that'll help you get started planning for your next trip.

Get your vehicle ready for a long road trip at Carlsen Subaru

5. Know Your Route Before You Depart

Before you set off, do some research about your route, and find some good places to stop for fuel, a bite to eat and grab some sleep overnight if the trip is long enough. There are some stretches of the Eisenhower Freeway System that go 100+ miles between filling stations, so planning ahead is always a smart move.

Sure, we've all got smartphones nowadays, which means we've got maps and navigation help right in our pockets -- but there are plenty of stretches of rural freeway where reception is spotty at best. If you're relying on an internet connection to get you where you're going, you might be out of luck if you need to find a service station in the middle of nowhere.

Schedule service to get your Subaru ready for a road trip in Redwood City, CA

4. Protect Your Car From the Elements

Traveling great distances at freeway speeds presents unique challenges for your car. For one, you'll be well away from shelter in the event of a rain-, snow- or hailstorm, meaning your vehicle could suffer damage. Beyond that, there's a lot more debris to worry about on the open road, and your car is going to hit it going a lot faster. Consider installing a clear bra or other front hood protector. Pebbles, tumbleweeds, dust and insects all threaten to scuff up or your car's paint job or eat away at the clearcoat.

3. Test Your Climate Controls

Since most long road trips in the U.S. happen in the summer, you're likely to find yourself in need of A/C on your trip -- so test the system to make sure it's working well before you embark. If it goes out as you drive, you could be in for a long, muggy, miserable journey. At high enough temperatures, the heat in your car could even become downright dangerous. Crank the A/C before you depart and make sure it gets cold quickly and keeps blowing cold. If it doesn't, have the system checked and potentially recharged at Carlsen Subaru before heading out.

Ask our service department about getting ready for a long road trip

2. Have an Emergency Plan

You can't rule out the possibility of mechanical failure, weather delays and other unexpected eventualities -- so it's good to be prepared for anything. Breaking down in the middle of nowhere isn't exactly a fun experience. You might consider packing some extra food and water plus some roadside basics like a flashlight, high visibility reflectors, jumper cables, even a thermal blanket if your journey will take place in winter. And if you're handy under the hood, it can't hurt to keep spares of common wearable parts like drive belts and wiper blades handy, so you can replace one roadside if necessary.

1. Check the Tires/Alignment

One of the most important maintenance items to perform before a long road journey is to have your tires checked. If your tires are properly inflated and aligned, you'll enjoy a smooth, comfortable ride that can withstand bumps, potholes and other road imperfections. And if they've got good tread, you'll have confident grip if you get caught in a rain- or snowstorm.

Tires that are improperly inflated are more likely to suffer damage and go flat. Changing a tire on the side of the highway can be a pain, and you'll be speed-limited by the "donut" spare tire on many vehicles, too -- dramatically extending your journey. To prevent this, have your tires and alignment professionally checked before you depart. Remember: thousands of miles of driving at freeway speeds will subject your tires to more heat and more wear than they'd ever experience during a day of city driving, so just because your tires seem fine on the road doesn't mean they're ready for the ravages of a long car trip.

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  1. Carlsen Subaru

    480 Veterans Blvd
    Redwood City, CA 94063

    • Sales: (888) 520-5916

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Carlsen Subaru

480 Veterans Blvd
Directions Redwood City, CA 94063

  • Sales: 650-365-6390
  • Service : 650-365-6390
  • Parts: 650-365-6390
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