- Plug the scanner into the open plastic connector port beneath the dashboard on the driver’s side.
- If the scanner doesn’t provide an English description with the error code, you can find the corresponding description in a vehicle specific repair manual or often on the manufacturer’s website.
2. Check the oil and add more or change it, if necessary. Start by checking the oil by removing the dipstick, wiping it off with a cloth, reinserting it and removing it again. Look at the level the oil reached on the stick compared to the bottom notch (low limit) and top notch (high limit). If it’s low, you will need to either add some or change the oil.
- Oil that’s in good condition will be translucent and slightly yellow or even greenish in color.
- To change the oil, slide a container under the oil pan that can capture the draining oil, then unscrew the drain plug (bolt at the bottom of the oil pan). Once the oil has drained completely, replace the plug and remove the oil filter. Install a new oil filter and then add the correct type and amount of oil for your vehicle, based on the information in your owner’s manual.
- Automatic transmission fluid is one of the most important ones to check before a long road trip. Use your vehicle’s owner’s manual to tell you where to find the dipstick, then check it like you would engine oil.
- Make sure your radiator is topped off as well by comparing its fill line to the lower limit line visible on the reservoir.
Rinse the terminals with a damp cloth after you’re done. Check to make sure the strap that secures the battery in place is tight as well.
- Driving without the appropriate documentation can lead to fines or even having your car impounded.
- Keep those important documents somewhere you can easily access in case you get pulled over.
2. Assemble an emergency kit. At the very least, you should have the tools you need to change a flat tire (emergency jack, tire iron, and spare tire) but you may want to prepare for other potential emergencies as well. Other things you may want are jumper cables, road flares, extra blankets, water, food, rain gear, or a flashlight.
- It’s also a good idea to carry a first aid kit.
- You may want to tailor some emergency supplies to your family or time of year. For instance, you may want to carry cat litter to help on slippery roads during the winter.