Are you ready to hit the roads for a long road trip? Before you load your trunk with all the essentials, make sure your car is ready for the journey. Nothing is more horrible than a broken down car hundreds of kilometers away from home, in the middle of nowhere.
To ensure that your road trip is nothing short of memorable, you will have to take some necessary measures beforehand. Not all problems can be avoided but precautionary measures can prevent them from happening. We’ve compiled a checklist to make sure you have a hassle-free road trip.
Check the tires
The most common problems with a car that can bring your trip to a halt are worn-out tyres, tyre bursts or punctures. There are two things to make sure your tyres won’t give up: the treads are deep enough and the tyres have the right air pressure. Also, check the same for your spare tyres and make sure you have checked all the tools required for tyre change.
Top up the fluids
Make sure to re-check under the hood for all important fluid levels such as power steering, coolant transmission fluid level, windshield washer. Get your car serviced before your road trip to ensure engine oil is fresh and keep the engine running at its optimal capacity.
Check for worn-out brakes
Driving around with worn out brakes can be dangerous. Some of the common tell-tale signs to watch out for are unusual vibrations, screeching sounds or the car being pulled to one side when applying breaks. Visit your service center and get them replaced.
Change the batteries if needed
Car batteries usually have a life span of one to two years. It is advisable to get your car battery checked at any auto service center to know its charge status. They can recommend whether it is in working condition or needs to be changed. Along with changing the batteries, get the terminals cleaned carefully and re-attach them.
[Related: 8 simple DIY car repairs to help you save]
Replace damaged belts and other parts
There are a few things which are not easily visible under the hood and require the expert knowledge of a mechanic. A damaged belt, hoses or any kind of cracks in tubes can lead to a possible breakdown and also further damage the engine. Replace these parts at once if any damages are detected.
Plan the road trip route beforehand
If you are not familiar with the roads and direction, keep a map with you. Having a map is great but GPS is even better as it will not only provide the location but also things you might need on the way such as supermarkets, fuel stations or pharmacies. You can either get a portable GPS if it is not inbuilt in your car or use the GPS service in your smart phone.
Don’t overlook the extras
When on the road, it is best to be prepared for anything as you never know what might come in handy. Don’t forget to pack your trunk with emergency/medical kits, flashlights, extra food and water. It is always good to keep some extra water as it helps to avoid dehydration, as well as in case of overheated engines.
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