a man in a car driving on a road trip.

Before you go on a road trip, it’s important to make sure your car is in the best possible shape. Breaking down on the road is costly, frustrating and can take time out of your travel itinerary. Here are four common car problems you should check for before you hit the open road.

Worn Belts and Hoses

The belts and hoses under your car’s hood need to be changed from time to time, as they can wear out and become brittle with use. Before you leave, inspect your car’s belts and hoses to make sure they are all looking good. If you see signs of wear, it’s a good idea to change them out before you leave. These parts are quite inexpensive, and replacing them now can save you from unexpected breakdowns once you leave.

Old Brake Pads

As with belts and hoses, brake pads wear out over time. Before leaving, consider having a mechanic inspect your brakes to make sure they are in good shape. Proper break function is extremely important on interstate highways, since you may have to suddenly slow down from a very high speed. With new brake parts in place, you can be sure that your car is up to the challenge.

Bald or Separating Tires

Since you’ll be putting lots of additional miles on your car during your trip, it’s critical to check your tires out before you leave. Tires that are bald or beginning to separate can be ticking time bombs once you hit the interstate. At high speed, a blowout can be very dangerous. Consider taking your car into a shop that offers tire services so that a professional can tell you whether or not your current tires are road worthy.

Low Transmission or Power Steering Fluid

Unlike oil or coolant, you rarely have to refill your transmission and power steering fluid. With that said, these fluids can run low just like any other. Check their levels before you leave to see if you have enough in the reservoirs. If either of these fluids is running low, you should also take your car to a mechanic to have it inspected for leaks that could cause you to run out on your trip.

By checking these four things before you leave, you can ensure that your car is in proper shape for the open road. Once you fix any issues your car may have, you’ll be ready to head out and enjoy your trip safely.