A lot of people are worried about taking their vehicles on long journeys, particularly if they are high-mileage or older vehicles. The truth of the matter is that long journeys are easier on your vehicle than your usual city driving because you will be on the high gear most times.
However, a breakdown on the highway can really put an end to the fun of a long road trip. As a result of this, you need to get your car ready for the trip in order to prevent unnecessary hitches. Here are some tips that will help you to get prepared adequately before setting out.
Two to Four Weeks Before Your Trip
Two to four weeks before you set out, there are vital things you need to do so that your trip will be successful.
Carry out any major repairs
If your vehicle requires any repairs or its scheduled service will soon be due, it is advisable to do this at least a month before your trip. This will provide enough time for repair-related problems to show up and be fixed.
Inspect the coolant
If you are traveling to a place that is cooler or warmer than your residence, you should make sure that your coolant is properly inspected. You must ensure that its mixture of water and antifreeze is appropriate so that your automobile will be suitably protected. If the coolant requires a replacement, you should not hesitate to do so.
Inspect your tires
It is very important for your tires to be inflated to the right pressure. If they are inflated to low pressure, there could be additional heat buildup which can cause an explosion when traveling at a high speed. You can use the instructions on the owner’s manual to confirm the right pressure for your tires. If any of them needs to be replaced, you should do that instantly.
Inspect your spare tire and other accessories
You must ensure that your spare tire is in good condition and properly inflated. If it needs a replacement, you should not hesitate to do so. Your jack, wrench and other tools for changing the tire should be in their proper place.
One Week Before Your Trip
A week before you set out, you should recheck your car to make sure that everything is in order.
Inspect your lights and electrical equipment
You should inspect your headlights, tail lights and horn. You can consider having a spare headlight bulb so that it will be easier for you to effect a replacement if there is a burnout on your trip. The owner’s manual contains vital information on the replacement of headlight bulbs.
Change worn-out or old windshield wipers
If your windshield wipers are not performing optimally or they are leaving streaks behind, you should consider changing them. Your visibility should at its peak so that your driving will be safe.
Refill the windshield washer fluid
It is very essential for your to refill the reservoir for your windshield washer fluid. If your trip is during winter, you must ensure that you make use of windshield washer fluid that is specifically produced for cold temperatures. You can consider taking along an additional bottle of the fluid, especially if the roads are water-logged.
Inspect your heating and air conditioning system
You must ensure that your air conditioning system works perfectly so that the air in your car will be cool and humidity will be eliminated. You may need to check for leaks and the refrigerant may need to be recharged.
Inspect your engine drive belt
Majority of vehicles possess one or two drive belts and as time rolls by, they wear out. If the belt breaks while your are traveling, you car will have to be towed to the mechanic workshop. Your mechanic can help you to check the condition of the belt during an oil change and if there is any need for a change, you should not hesitate to do so.
Inspect your battery condition
You can visually check the condition of your battery by looking for cracks, acid leaks or other deterioration. You should replace your battery if you discover any of these problems. In addition, you must ensure that the battery terminals are very tight and should not be corroded.
Check the basic emergency kit for your car
The basic emergency kit of your vehicle should be properly stocked. It should vital materials like jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, tire sealer-inflator can, flashlight, work gloves, couple of rags, screwdrivers, pliers and so on.
According to Bryan (Automotive Engineer of bestnetreview), your personal emergency and first aid kit should also be put into consideration and items like some energy bars, bottles of water, among others, should be brought along. You should be adequately prepared for winter traveling and the following items should be kept in your car:
- Ice scraper
- Sand or kitty litter
- Tow cable or chain
- Booster cables
- Traction mats
- Road flares, emergency sign or warning light</li
- Additional bottle of non-freezing windshield washer fluid
One Day Before Your Trip
A day before your trip, you must ensure that your car is properly cleaned and vacuumed. You need to travel in a neat car so that your journey will be more interesting.
The pressure of the tires should be checked again so that they can be in the right, recommended ratings. Your gas tank tank should be adequately filled because you will have to pay more for gas on the highway if you need a refill.
The Day of Your Trip
It is very essential for you to check what you have packed properly. Loading should be carried out carefully and evenly. You should avoid overloading because it can be dangerous.
On A Final Note
Adequate preparation of your car for your trip will go a long way in making the journey to be successful. You will be preventing a lot of issues that may crop up on the road and this will guarantee a safe journey. Happy driving!