Planning to go for a long drive/ trip any time soon? Keeping all the fun things apart, Sometimes things could go wrong without any warning when going on a long drive. Well we cannot avoid all problems, but can always reduce the possibility of getting into one. Read on to find out how to avoid all possible problems one could face far away from home.
First off, even if you are not going for a trip, you should be responsible enough to check your car on a regular basis to avoid all future car related mishaps. Now that being said, it’s very obvious to make sure you have done a maintenance or service check to your car before going on a long trip. It is always advisable to do the maintenance check two – three weeks prior to the trip, so that way you can take a trial ride of your car to check if everything is fine. Also, nobody wants to fall in the unfortunate trap of the service- workshop’s error!
THINGS YOU SHOULD CHECK
As the owner of the car, it’s always good to know the mechanics of your car, so that if something goes wrong, you can handle it without depending on others. Here are a few things that you should check.
FLUIDS– Even if you have done a recent maintenance check for your car it’s always advisable to check your car for yourself. Fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, Radiator coolant, brake fluid, windshield washer and power steering fluid should be filled to the maximum level. If the fluid levels are not up to the maximum even after a maintenance check, then it is possibly a leakage problem. It’s always better to call a mechanic to check your car if you come across such issues.
TYRES– It is always good if you check your tyres regularly before your trip. For example, you could check the tyres three times before the trip- one at the time of your car maintenance, the second one a week before your trip and one last check, a day before your trip. Make sure that all the tyres are inflated to the right amount of pressure that is mentioned in the owner’s manual. Low pressure tyres can ruin your journey by heat build-up blowouts in high speeds. Always remember to check the tyre pressure when it is cold.
SPARE TYRES– Make sure the spare tyres are fully inflated, because nobody wants to turn a bad time into a worst one. Do not forget to see if you have the entire Tyre changing tool kit provided by the car manufacturer. If you don’t, then you can always get it from online shops or forums. Also, the person who is driving the car should be aware of the tyre changing techniques.
AIR FILTERS– check the air filters of your car. Clean them or replace them because clogged air filters can reduce the fuel economy and power of your car.
AIR CONDITIONERS– If you have never had your Car AC checked, then I don’t think you should wait any further. You should get it checked as soon as possible because you don’t want to ruin your road trip right?
WIPER BLADES– Inspect the wiper blades of your car. The average life of the wipers is one year. Replace it if they aren’t working well or if you are getting a shrieking sound from them while they are on.
BATTERY– Check the battery of your car for any corrosion. If you find corrosion on your battery, remove it with a mixture of water and baking soda. Also make sure the connection clamps of the battery are tight. The average life of the battery is four years.
CLEAN THE INSIDES OF THE CAR
Nobody would want to travel in a car that is not clean from the inside. If your car is clean from the inside, trust me you will have a very clean and memorable trip. So, give the insides of your car a good dusting or vacuuming before your trip. If you are non-allergic to air fresheners, you can go for an air freshener of your choice.
THINGS TO PACK
If your car is all set for the road trip, then what are you waiting for? Get things packed for the road trip. Apart from your personal stuff, you should pack stuffs that will make your road trip easier.
DOCUMENTS- The following documents in original should be carried when going on a long trip and keep them in a safe and reachable place inside your car.
1) Registration certificate
2) Valid insurance certificate
3) Pollution under control certificate
4) Licence of the driver
Also retain all the toll receipts, fuel bills and hotel bills, so that if you fall in any sort of a trouble, it will help you in proving that you are a traveller.
EMERGENCY KIT– Pack an emergency kit with some essential tools, puncture repair kit, portable air compressor, cello-tapes, pen, paper, flash lights because no one would like to take risks during long trips.
FIRST- AID KIT– First-Aid is something that you should never neglect taking on a long trip. If you are under any medication, do not forget to carry your regular medicines. Other than that you can carry medicines for common diseases.
You can also carry a hand sanitizer and tissue papers because they can be very handy during long trips.
MAPS– In the world of technology, everything is available in your phones. Download map applications that you feel will help you during your trips. Do not fully depend on online maps which can sometimes mislead you, instead check out with friends or online travelogue forums for details regarding the roads. Otherwise you can buy an atlas or map of the place you are travelling to.
JOIN ONLINE FORUMS– To have a better knowledge about the roads you are going to travel, it’s always better to join an online travelogue forum. An online travelogue forum will provide you information regarding the routes, roads, food joints etc. One such online travelogue forum which I trust is HVK or the hi vay king run by a travel enthusiast and a person who is better known as human GPS, Mr. H.V Kumar. Visit this forum for more details ( hivayking.in )
MUSIC AND SNACKS– Pack some snacks that are light on your stomach. For example, Fruits, biscuits, nuts, chilled fruit juices etc. Do not forget to carry water bottles.
If you are a music freak, you should definitely consider updating your music list.
THINGS TO PONDER
1) Never overcrowd the luggage compartment
2) Stack the luggage uniformly
3) Follow traffic rules. Different states will have specific rules which are to be followed, so put in some effort to find the rules exclusive to the region you are travelling to.
4) Check the details of the fuel pumps and authorised service stations en route.
Now all you need to do is start your vehicle and have a safe journey!
Image Source: from my camera 🙂