Preparing for a long road trip can be exciting, especially as you count down the days until take off. Most travelers will be focused on loading their phones up with music, packing enough snacks and drinks for the road, and seeking out neat locations for pit stops along the way.
Most importantly, you should also have a separate checklist for your hybrid road trip. Ensuring you get from A to B smoothly is important, especially during vacation. Take the guesswork out of your preparedness with these tips.
First and foremost, be sure your battery is in excellent working order before you set off. You don’t want your first pit stop to be the mechanic’s shop.
- Check to make sure your battery is charged up and plan to make a list of all charging stations within your route. (The US Department of Energy has a map with a searchable list of EV charging stations across the nation.)
- Corrosion on the copper connectors inside “buss bars” should be the next component you examine. Corrosion of the copper connectors will look like dried toothpaste and the copper will be discolored (i.e. think dirty pennies instead of the bright copper color).
- To clean this, remove the connectors in question, soak them in vinegar and gently scrub off the corrosion with steel wool. Next, soak the connectors in a solution of baking soda and water to counteract acidity from the vinegar. Finally, replace the copper connectors.
- Check to be sure battery fluids are at a healthy level. If you are not comfortable doing this, or are unsure of how to do so, contact The Hybrid Geek for a battery State of Health Check.
Check Your Tires
Low tire pressure affects fuel economy and can also lead to friction between the road and your tire’s surface, causing a blowout. You can check the recommended tire pressure inside the driver’s side door of your hybrid or in your vehicle’s manual.
Also be sure to check for excessive tread wear or any bubbles in the sidewalls. If you find your tires are worn down excessively, it is best to have them replaced before your hybrid road trip.
Lastly, most modern cars are equipped with run-flats, so they may not include a spare tire with purchase. If this is the case, spare tires can be purchased at most tire retailers or online from $50-$200, depending on the vehicle.
Look at Fluid Levels
From window washing fluid to brake fluid and everything in between, your fluid levels should be checked and topped off or changed before your hybrid road trip. Checking your oil and window washing fluid levels are typically a no-brainer for vehicle owners, but the other fluids may be difficult to check.
If you are in need of assistance with checking your hybrid’s fluid levels, be sure to schedule an appointment with The Hybrid Geek before your summer road trip.
Before heading out on your trip, take a quick test drive down the road to check for signs your vehicle might need a tune-up. A few other items to consider taking with you are the vehicle’s manual, roadside assistance documents if applicable, a printed list of hybrid charging stations and hybrid mechanics (in case of emergency) on your route, and a small toolbox with wrenches and screwdrivers.
Feel like going the extra mile? Stop at your local automotive shop and purchase a spare bulb for your headlights and taillights. These are inexpensive and handy to keep in your glove box in case one of your lights goes out while you are on the road.
While you are feeling organized and prepared, visit The Hybrid Geek’s website for a list of our comprehensive hybrid services. Call us today at (919) 996-0626 for more information about taking your hybrid on road trips this summer.