A long-distance move provides opportunities for hardworking individuals with new jobs, enhanced schooling and other perks. Packing up the family car and heading out to the new location is commonplace, but issues can arise if you aren’t prepared. Consider the steps that you should take to prepare your car for that big move. The extra attention can pay off in the long run.
1. Check the Car’s Vital Signs
Get familiar with your car’s vital signs that must be healthy before a long-distance move. Check these areas, such as:
• Fluid levels
• Tire pressure
• Battery health
The oil should be smooth and free from any debris. Verify that the tires have adequate pressure, and check the levels every day before you leave. The pressure shouldn’t change too drastically day to day.
If your battery seems to hesitate upon ignition, think about buying a new one. You want a reliable car regardless of the distance to be traveled.
2. Ask for a Professional’s Opinion
Don’t hesitate to take the car to a trusted mechanic before a big move. They can check areas that are more difficult for the layperson to access. The suspension, brakes and other systems should be working without any issues, for instance. Repair any concerning areas now. Breakdowns along the road will only cost more in the future. Preventive maintenance protects the car from most problems and provides peace of mind. You’ll only have to worry about the road ahead and not the wheels beneath you.
3. Consider a Rental
The family car may be a decade old or more. It works well around your community, but a long-distance drive may be daunting. The Hartford suggests shipping a car that may have a questionable ride across hundreds of miles.
As an alternative, rent a car as your personal vehicle is shipped. It may take extra time to arrive at the destination, but it’ll make it there in one piece. Let the rental take on the extra weight and miles during your trip.
4. Be Aware of Weight Limits
You may have a spacious car, but don’t overload it. Research your car model’s specifications when it comes to weight limits. Every manufacturer has their exact ranges so that you can properly load the vehicle.
Vary the types of items to be packed so that you can fit as much volume as possible into the vehicle. Add heavy items, but finish off the loading with clothing and other lightweight belongings. Overloading the car will only hinder the vehicle’s operations and possibly damage the engine. Remember that shipping a few items can relieve the weight on the car before moving day arrives.
5. Clear Away Nonessential Items
There are plenty of small crevices in most vehicles that give you extra packing space, reports The Spruce. Prepare your car before the big move by clearing out any nonessential items, such as old water bottles and trash. Use these compartments to carry prescriptions, books, phones and other items. If the compartment is handy, use it for items that must be easily accessible. Your wallet and important papers, for example, might use these spaces.
6. Install a New Alarm
Your car will be full of items that are difficult to hide even with blankets and bags as visual deterrents. To avoid any theft, consider a new alarm. The latest technology gives you confidence about the car’s whereabouts and status. Most long-distance moves will involve at least one overnight stay at a nearby hotel. Park the vehicle in a well-lit area, and keep an eye on it. Otherwise, allow the alarm to protect your valuables as you rest.
With your car safely parked at the new destination, consider a tuneup after you’re settled in. An oil change and car wash may be the perfect services to bring the car back to life after a long trip. Your big move can be as smooth as possible when the car is properly prepared.