When planning to go on a road trip, we mostly pay attention to the things such as taking enough food and water, packing sufficient clothes in case the weather changes abruptly, buying beddings/sleeping bags/tents if we plan on sleeping over, etc. But we should also take proper care of the vehicle we’ll be using on the road. Just like you’d want to avoid driving hungover or tired, you don’t want your car to be in bad condition as well.
You never want those unpredictable things to potentially ruin your voyage. Why call AAA in the middle of nowhere, when you can easily prevent some of the most common car damages? We give you simple tips on how to get ready your means of transportation and make sure that the whole trip goes as smoothly as possible.
Check The Tyres
Before going away on a trip, you always want to ensure that your tyres are not underinflated, nor overinflated as a matter of fact. Keep the optimal air pressure inside them and you will not only provide the most pleasant ride for you and your fellow travellers, but you will save fuel in addition.
Also, don’t forget to check the spare tyre! People often tend to neglect or be careless regarding spare tyres (up to the point where they don’t even know if they had them, or where exactly are they located), but those need to be in perfectly good condition, too.
Pay Attention To The Car Fluids
They say that the car fluids are the ’bloodstream’ of your car for a reason. There are six substantial fluids that you need to check regularly, but especially if you intend to go on a road trip. First of all, the engine oil needs to be changed every 3000-5000 miles. Radiator fluid or antifreeze will make sure that your engine doesn’t overheat in the summer or freeze in the winter. If brake fluid is contaminated or there’s an insufficient amount, it can cause the brake pads to clamp on the rotors and slow down your car. Power steering, transmission and windscreen fluid also need to be in check, in order to avoid any unforeseen and unpleasant road surprises.
Inspect The Windscreen, Side Windows & Rear Window
Speaking of the windscreen, all of your car windows need to be clean. Driving while looking through a dirty or muddy windscreen is no fun and it’s quite dangerous. On top of that, it’s crucial to make sure that the windows don’t have any cracks or damages. If you happen to stumble upon a split or a crevice in your windscreen, side or rear window, don’t go out on a road before making an auto window replacement and repairpreviously. The fact that the crack can expand and get bigger is always a liability. Making sure that the glass is intact will save you a lot of time and trouble on the road – and if you’ve ever tried looking through the broken or chipped glass, you already know why. Now, just imagine driving for hours in those conditions! It’s not exactly smooth sailing, to say the least.
Inspect The Light Bulbs & Check The Battery Condition
First of all, you really don’t want to get pulled over for broken headlights, turn signals or taillights. But even if you don’t worry too much about that and although it may not be particularly difficult for you to drive with one broken headlight, just remember that this way you can cause a lot of trouble to others. It’s quite unsafe to drive like this, especially at night. Changing these light bulbs is really not that difficult, but if you can’t do it yourself, or don’t have enough time, don’t be reluctant to visit the mechanic. You should also confirm that your battery is in the right state. When it’s fully charged, it should measure at 12.6 volts or above. You clearly want to do everything in your power to dodge that ’battery dead’ scenario while turning the keys nervously.
Always Carry The Right Tools & Emergency Basics With You
Pack and plan to have fun, but also be aware of the potential emergency situations when going on a road trip. You can never be too cautious when it comes to the matter of urgent situations. Seriously consider investing in a basic set of tools, jumper cables, tyre changing kit, ropes, matches/lighter, torch, personal locator beacon, if you’re going someplace with low mobile phone range, etc. Those could all be lifesavers, to go along with the first aid kit, which is another essential thing to have in your car all the time. There should really be no excuses and hesitations when packing those things.
To conclude, you can never be too diligent or meticulous when planning a road trip. Bringing the right amount of food, water and clothes is something which comes first to everyone’s mind in these situations. But, you should also spend at least the equal amount of time to make sure your vehicle is in the proper condition. It can mean the difference between having the best and worst trip of your life!