Every once in a while, when the weather is nice, a road trip is what brings us relaxation and recharges our senses by exploring the exquisite natural, historical and socio-cultural sights.
And, when you go on a road trip you want to be able to take in all kinds of cool things and sights and sensations and the condition of your car should not be one of them, that's a total bummer.
Let's get your car ready for whatever road trip you've got medium, long or short. We will break these down into a set of things you absolutely can do yourself and will be important lessons that cover all the tips and techniques of car maintenance for beginners.
With just a set of routine checks and inspections along with some crucial car care products, you can keep all the breakdown troubles at bay and have complete peace of mind to enjoy your trip.
So, let’s get started with all that you need to have in top shape for a smooth driving experience.
TAKE AWAY THE TYRE TROUBLES
Your car’s tyres are the first major area for detecting any potential accidents and breakdowns. By keeping them mess-free with a car tyre cleaner, you can prolong the tyre life. Meanwhile, start by checking the following:
- Is the air pressure up to the mark? The right tyre pressure for most of the cars is mentioned on the sticker on the door frame and also in the user’s manual. Get the pressure right to avoid burning more fuel, poor handling, and preventing damage to treading.
- Can you spot any ballooning or bubbles? Look for these visible signs of wear and tear to replace any damaged tyre.
- Last but the most important area, check the treading. For a safe driving experience, the treading must be at least 2-3mm. The tyres need to have an even treadwear and no less than the 2-3mm depth. Without the required treading, wet, uneven, and sandy roads will be very tough for you to drive on because of less traction.
- As the last part of the car tyre maintenance routine for road trips, check the spare tyre. It should be in perfect condition. Also, make sure the jack, jack rod, and wheel spanner are working fine and are rust-free. We suggest always keeping a rust remover in your car to keep the car body and tools free from rusting damage.
LIGHT CHECK-UP DONE RIGHT
The indicators and main headlights are vital for a safe driving experience. Take a thorough check-up to evaluate the working status of all the lights. You may ask someone to join you for confirming that all lights are working fine as you turn each one on. Alternatively, you may park near a wall in a shaded spot to see the reflection of each light and indicator.
Replace any non-functioning bulbs and check whether the low and high beams are working fine.
ENSURING ENGINE HEALTH
Without the right levels of engine oil, the engine will overheat and stall which results in a lot of expenses. So when the engine is cool and not running, open the hood to check for engine oil levels from the markers on the dipstick. Top-up your engine oil, if the levels have dropped beyond the suggested amount. Regular use of the best car engine oil for your car in addition to a booster engine additive will increase fuel efficiency and it helps the engine parts to withstand extreme temperatures and protects from corrosion.
Besides, the engine oil levels, do check the viscosity and the color of the oil. A lesser than normal viscosity and discoloration also means the oil should be changed.
Look for the coolant levels. Top-up with a 1:1 mix of water and antifreeze coolant if the need be. Also, if the coolant looks a little too concentrated you can just simply add normal water to mix it up for the adequate concentration.
WINDSHIELDS AND WIPERS
Before you start with the inspection of windshield cleaner liquid, check the health of wiper blades or pads. If you can spot visible damage to these rubber parts, go for replacement. Next, check the levels of windshield cleaner and fill it up in necessary. Do keep in mind the extra bit of clarity needed for driving in foggy conditions and mountains. We recommend using a suitable glass cleaner to get rid of mist and fog from the windshield surface.
CAR BRAKES AND HOSES
As a part of a general health inspection of your vehicle, park it in a clean area and look for any oil and water leaks under the body after a few hours. All this because even a small leak or dripping could end up depleting the liquid levels for a long journey.
After ensuring leak-proof status, drive around a few blocks in your neighborhood to check the working status of brakes. If you can hear squealing or the brakes are getting applied with any difficulty, ask for professional help.
BEEFING UP THE BATTERY HEALTH
Look for any visible marks of corrosion or rusting on the battery terminals. The battery of your car should be completely free from any small or big damage to head out with confidence.
Also, check the battery liquid levels, if the need be, top-up with distilled water. Besides, this ensures there is no loose wire hanging and the cables are connected tightly.
In addition to the above steps, do make sure the rest of the interior functions of the vehicle like the car air conditioner.
Since you will be a lot of time inside the car during the trip, we also suggest, that once you are done with your inspection, make sure to give it a thorough cleaning as well. Remove any stale packaged food items. All this because a washed and well-vacuumed car will give you a much better experience.
Use a good quality wax and the best car polish to give the exterior a clean shine.
Besides the car check-up, make sure to give a good look at the first aid box and the tools. Pack in a flashlight and emergency equipment like pliers and screwdrivers to be fully ready to deal with unwarranted car trouble.