What Long Journeys Do to Your Car

Posted By: Main Auto Body, Inc. | January 5, 2020

Couple In Car On Open Road

Whether you’re heading home for the holidays or getting ready for a beach vacation in the summer, many of us take long road trips at least once during the year. Getting on the open road is a great way to share quality time with those we love, but it can also have negative consequences for your vehicle. If you’re preparing for a long trip, Main Auto Body, Inc. explores some of the long drive damage that can arise if you hit the road before having a pro take a look at your car.

Misalignment Woes

Everyday wear and tear takes its toll on your car’s alignment, even when your driving routine consists of short commutes and running errands. When you log hundreds of miles each day, that wear adds up faster and may require shock replacements and other repairs to your suspension system. If your car is already due for alignment service, this damage will add up even faster. And should your adventures involve hitting a curb or an unseen pothole, you may find yourself miles from home with a vehicle that’s hard to drive.

To avoid the drifting, difficult turning, and steering wheel vibrations caused by misalignment, get your suspension checked before your trip. An experienced auto tech can perform necessary repairs to ensure your car is in peak condition from your driveway to your destination.

Tire Wear

While recommendations vary by manufacturer, most tires should be replaced every 25,000 to 50,000 miles. Tires are constantly in contact with the road, and their ability to provide traction in wet or slippery conditions diminishes over time. Unsurprisingly, a long trip will put additional wear on your tires, and multiple road trips each year could see you replacing tires sooner than expected.

Alignment is also a key factor when it comes to getting the most from your tires. When you drive a vehicle with misaligned wheels, tires wear unevenly due to uneven contact with the pavement. This damage can have serious safety consequences during your trip, including difficulty in steering and blow-outs that create hazards for you and other drivers.

Damage Due to Poor Conditions

You’re familiar with the roads near your home, but vacations and business travel often take us out of our driving comfort zone. If those less-traveled roads are in poor condition, your vehicle is at a heightened risk for long drive damage.

Potholes, uneven roads, wheel ruts, and unmarked high and low shoulders can all cause jarring impacts to your vehicle that result in misalignment and even frame damage. Should this damage be serious enough, you’ll find yourself with frame problems that make it hard to turn your vehicle, cause instability at higher speeds, and leave your car unsafe to drive.

Avoiding Long Drive Damage

Despite these concerns, there’s no reason to fear long drives in your car. With regular maintenance and the right preparation, you can cruise the highways and enjoy every mile without worry. Before your trip begins, be sure to get up-to-date on scheduled maintenance, replace tires if needed, and visit a trusted auto repair shop to ensure your vehicle is in good condition for the drive ahead.

With nine locations in Bend and Northwest Oregon, Main Auto Body, Inc. offers car alignment, frame repair, and more to keep your car safe mile after mile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so you can drive with confidence on your next long journey.