Let’s face it, heading back to work after a long weekend is a bit of a drag. It’s not something that many of us here enjoy, but it’s something that we have to do otherwise how are we going to put food on the table and keep cars in the garage?
So here’s an inverse of the typical “What to bring on a road trip” article. What do you check after a road trip? Read on.
Wash the car
You probably went through a lot of dirt, mud, sand, dust, and rain through the course of your road trip. Even if it’s been sunny this holiday season, dust and dirt still have a tendency to stick on your vehicle’s paint. Be sure to employ the two-bucket method when cleaning. Wash your car with car wash shampoo and water.
If you’ve taken a more countryside or trailside vacation, be sure to bring your SUV or pickup truck to a professional car wash in order to get an under-wash. A plain car wash simply won’t do after hitting the trails, especially if you went off-road on lahar or other abrasive and acidic surfaces. It’s also advisable to get an under wash if you’ve been near saltwater, as it can cause corrosion if left unchecked.
Take out the trash
Road trips are made better in the company of friends and family, and road trips are also made even better thanks to good food and in-car snacks. Now it’s time for the tedious part, the cleanup. Take out all the wrappers, cups, and takeout containers from the interior of your car and chuck them in the bin.
Following that, it’s time to bust out the good old vacuum cleaner and a brush to loosen up all the dirt and suck it all up. All the crumbs, dirt, and mud must go.
However, don’t forget to wipe down all the water and liquid mess that you might have otherwise tracked in. Use carpet cleaner and a soft rag, then make sure that you also dry it properly after.
Rearrange the seats
Perhaps while you do your rounds on the seats and on the carpets, if you’ve rearranged the seats during the trip to accommodate more luggage or more passengers, it’ll be good to revert your car back to its original seating configuration and make it ready to take cargo or passengers again. While doing this, it’s a good idea to look for more trash and also items that could have been lost during the trip.
For seven-seaters like the Toyota Innova or Rush, it’s common for the family to be included in the itinerary, and if you involve kids, things can get pretty rowdy so a few toys, trinkets, or whatever can be lost inside a car.
Then finally, readjust your own seating. If anyone else took turns driving over the holidays, then you should revert it back to your original settings. Things will be much easier if your car has a seat memory feature that lets you set it any way you want, then revert back to your original position should there be a driver change.
Reconfigure your infotainment system
Before you head out on the road and do this yourself, make sure that you clear out everyone who has connected to your infotainment system and make sure to prioritize your phone when the system starts up. For some more dated media systems, they latch on to the last connected device, and most systems have a limit to the number of devices that they can remember and connect to.
Not only do you get your system’s priorities back, but you also get to clean up the data that would have otherwise been downloaded from your friend’s or family’s phone while they were connected to the system. Just make sure that there is no relationship-related conflict when deleting and clearing out saved devices on your system!
Get a service
Chances are, after a long trip with the car running continuously for hours on end, it would be good to have your vehicle inspected at the nearest service center if your service interval is coming up on the odometer or the calendar.
If there was a little mishap on the way to your destination like a fender bender, it will be best to consult with your insurance provider on the next steps needed in order to prepare for the insurance claim, provided you do have a comprehensive policy protecting your vehicle.