Top 5 Tips On Preparing Your Car For A Long Road Trip
With summer at full swing, there’s that excitement beginning to brew for a great road trip. The question is, how could you maintain your vehicle? How do you get it in perfect condition for a memorable long blissful trip? The wet or icy roads, rainy weather, gritty surface, a flat tire or a dying battery are all risks that you must carefully address. Aside from getting your car examined as part of general upkeep, it’s vital to have it thoroughly inspected by a professional mechanic.
This is to avoid being stranded in the middle of nowhere on your meticulously planned road trip. Follow my tips to keep your automobile in top notch condition for a long journey ahead. Take a look:
Pack The Essentials
Before you even begin getting your vehicle checked at an auto shop, it’s important to pack the items that are essential for a secure and a stress-free driving experience. The items may include the battery backup, windshield cleaner, automobile duster for cleansing, washing lubricant, extra tire, cables, a pair of gloves, radiator lubricant backup and screwdrivers/gadgets etc.
In the Boot
These items must be available at all times in the car boot to avoid any hassles of looking up an auto parts store in a remote location. Additionally, I’d suggest you install a nice monitoring tool like mspy cell phone track app on your smartphone for location tracking of your smartphones. This is especially handy when it comes to tracking your fellow drivers on the route.
Be Careful Regarding The Fluids
Check the fluid’s level; take care of engine oil, radiator fluid, brake fluid and other auto lubricants. Fluids are pivotal for the smooth functioning of the engine, transmission and other parts of the vehicle. Essentially you need to be vigilant about six vital fluids. The transmission fluid, power steering fluid, windshield fluid and the three liquids I’ve highlighted above. You need to learn a little bit about the upkeep of these important liquids. It’s also vital to know when to refill each one for the best maintenance.
Six Essential Car Lubricants
The engine oil generally needs changing every 3,000 to 5,000 miles (all depends on the oil quality and the engine in question). If you’re about to leave for a long trip, I suggest you use a dipstick to check the condition of the engine oil including its level and have it topped up, in case the level shows a drop. The radiator fluid helps keep the car cool; the optimum coolant level prevents the car from overheating. Have it topped up and make sure you clear away or flush the system every 50,000 miles.
Brake Pads Are Important
If you find brake pads in a spongy condition, it means brake fluid is bad and requires immediate change. Have the mechanic fill up the system with a quality fluid and take care to flush it every 36,000 miles.
The power steering fluid provides flexibility so you can easily rotate it but a contaminated fluid may yield less response from the wheel. Make sure you check it every 24000 miles for its smooth functioning.
What Would Happen?
Jerky and uncomfortable rides can be quite irritating. Avoid these by checking the transmission fluid which facilitates the smooth movement of the gears and other automotive parts inside the car. A good transmission fluid lasts a long time; I recommend you check and replace every 60,000 miles.
The windshield fluid helps keep the dust, ice or other tiny particles away for clear visibility. The last thing you want on your road trip is a fluid ‘run out’ indicator for the windshield. It is especially irritating if it’s raining or snowing and you need it to wash the screen for a clear view. The windshield must be clean, so stock up on the windshield washer fluid. You can fill up the gauge using a funnel even during the journey.
Always Have The Tires & Brakes Checked
The tire’s upkeep is as important as maintaining your car liquids and other systems. Before leaving for the trip, have the mechanic check the tires for air pressure, rotation and any cracks or holes. Tires with proper air pressure are mandatory for good fuel efficiency and a seamless driving experience. Too much air pressure in the tires can make your road trip uncomfortable, especially if you’re driving on a rough surface.
Additionally, driving with incorrect air pressure would wear the tires unevenly. This may require you to change them sooner than normal. It’s also a good idea to rotate tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles because factors like suspension calibration, weight balance, and road conditions can cause different tires to wear out at different rates. Make sure you check the pressure every 1,000 miles. Depending on your journey, you may need to take a look at the tires a few times.
Remember the Brakes
Also, have the brake pads properly checked. If you hear any squeaky or screeching noise, it means your brake pads need changing. To make your road trip safe, have any faulty brake pads replaced with high-quality ones. Generally, you should replace old ones anywhere from 25,000 to 70,000 miles.
Air Filters & Light Bulbs
While you are driving, the air filter is busy in preventing the debris, insects, and grime from entering the engine. In case your air filter gets clogged, it can hamper the engine’s functionality, fuel efficiency and the air quality of the interior. Experts recommend that you change the air filter every 12,000 miles. Carefully check your light bulbs by turning on the headlights in the park mode and take a look at them to find out if they seem burnt out.
Do the same for the taillights and turn indicators and have them replaced in case they appear dim or faulty. You need headlights with nice LED bulbs for lucid visibility and proper brightness so you can easily spot the road conditions and other vehicles while driving in the night.