Are you planning a road trip in the near future? Whether you’re taking a tour of your home state or driving all the way across the country, there’s nothing quite like hitting the open road.

Unfortunately, long car trips provide many opportunities for car troubles and engine failures. At Slick Mobile Oil, we talk to many customers about how to best prepare their vehicle for a long trip. One of the most common questions we are asked is, “should I get an oil change before a road trip?”

To fully answer this question, you first need to understand the importance of oil changes and the benefits they have for your car.

Why Oil Changes are Important

Your car’s engine is made up of many moving parts, and engine oil acts as a lubricant for those parts. It keeps everything running smoothly and prevents friction, which can lead to overheating and catastrophic engine damage.

Regular oil changes are an easy way to maintain your car’s health and increase its longevity. Each time you get your oil changed, your mechanic will tell you when to come back. Their suggestion will come in the form of an appointment date or the mileage by which you should make a return appointment.

Between your regularly-scheduled appointments, you should routinely check your oil level and color. Low oil could indicate a larger problem like a leak, and very dirty oil is a sign that you should schedule an oil change sooner rather than later.

Oil Change Before a Road Trip

The basics of getting an oil change are fairly straightforward, but you might still be wondering, “Should I get an oil change before a road trip?”

If your car is set to hit its next oil change mileage during your road trip, you should schedule an oil change before you set out. The same is true if you’ll be traveling on the date when your mechanic suggested you return for servicing.

If your car has recently been serviced and your oil level is high, there’s no need to make a special trip to your mechanic. Believe it or not, long trips at high speeds are actually better for your engine than small trips. That’s because the engine oil stays heated when you drive long distances, and your car doesn’t have to get going with a cold engine (and cold oil).

Other Road Trip Prep

In addition to changing your oil, there are several other steps that you can take to prepare your car for a long road trip. Check your tire pressure and make sure that your spare is in good condition. Incorrect tire pressure will lower your car’s fuel economy, which adds up when you’re spending many hours on the road.

You can also check the fluid levels in your engine and top off things like power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, fluid top-offs are an easy add-on to include in your oil change appointment.

Stay Safe on the Road

Make your next road trip smoother and safer by ensuring that your car is as ready as you are. Getting an oil change before a road trip is great for your peace of mind and good for your car, too. It doesn’t get much better than that!

If you want a mobile oil change service that can come right to your doorstep, check out our services at Slick Mobile Oil. We’re proud to make oil changes more convenient for our Colorado neighbors!