Adventurous and memorable, long drives require you to prepare your vehicle and manage a proper maintenance of car to be in a good shape. Although it promises fun and new experiences, long drives might also come with some tough times and unpredictable circumstances. We do spend a lot of time in picking hotels and packing clothes, but seldom do we spend time preparing the vehicles for the trip. Here is a checklist for long-drive aficionados to prepare their cars.
1. The right oil
Having the right oil for a vehicle year-round is an essential to maintain smooth functioning while driving, especially at the time of a long drive. It is necessary to have the necessary oil change according to the season as well. For instance, higher temperature during summer requires you to change oil to higher weight or viscosity. It also helps when you are driving an old car for a significant mileage and to compensate any internal engine wear. Finally, do not forget to fill the tank before the day of the journey, for it is quite common to forget and regret later when you realize an empty tank while on the road.
2. Battery check
A dead battery in the middle of the trip can spoil the journey and plan. Prepare to avoid such uncalled for events and check your battery before hitting the road. Usually, it happens in extreme heat/cold. If you have a battery charger, make sure your battery is fully charged. Check the date and situation of your battery. If is over three years old, either test it or get a new one. Although most of the new batteries don’t require maintenance, they do wear out if they have been in use for a long period of time, exhaustively. As a preventive measure, check the battery indicators that signal when they are dying.
3. Top up fluids
Your car maintenance requires its radiator have a check before going on a road trip, in case the radiator is in bad shape. Consult a mechanic and test the antifreeze fluid using a coolant hyrometer and the coolant level. Long drives can heat up your radiator, so ensure to top up the fluid using a 50/50 mixture to avoid boil-over situations. On the other hand, switch to using 100% antifreeze during winter to keep your windshield clear and have the perfect view as you drive down the road from behind the wheel.
4. Change air filters
You want to feel fresh and clean as you go on a road trip. Air filters do help in keeping your interior clean and getting the engine clogged with dirt. Dirty filters prevent fresh air from getting to the engine, affecting the well-being of the engine. In return, it also affects the fuel efficiency and your health. Replace the dirty ones with new air filters that are washable and reusable for better filtration. Also, carry an air freshner as well, in case of coming across an area with stale smell.
5. Check Tires
The most important part of your car to be on the road is its tires. It is essential to have the best-in-shape tires as you head on for a long drive. You do not want to have a flat tire on your trip. Inflate the tires with required pressure, check for leaks, and have a look at its tread. However, blowouts are unpredictable. So, carry a stepney, working gloves, and required tools.
6. Check the Lights
Going on a long drive means you might come across cloudy situations or you might have to drive at night. You need good light while driving during such situations to have a clear view of what is ahead of you on the road. The use of lights is important not only for your clear vision, but also for your and others’ safety. Indicator lights help other vehicles know which direction you are headed in order to avoid collisions. And brake lights let others know that you speeding down for them also to slow down. It is, therefore, necessary to check and adjust the headlights, brake lights, and indicators.