Indeed, road vacations are an excellent opportunity to enjoy the excitement of driving on a thrilling adventure. Windy roads, limitless fields, and expanding horizons combine to give a glorious feeling of freedom and joy. Planning ahead of time is indeed ideal for making your car journey delightful and effortless. Accounting for those quintessential road journey preparations is a significant move because that will contribute to a safe long drive. You might have already started longing for that audacious journey. Stop before you make the final move. Make the car ready first, and then you shall plan for the next step. On this note, here are the tips on how to be car-ready before planning for the long journey.
Car Accessories You’d Require
Checking the car is indeed the most predominant step. But here, as it’s about a long journey, ensuring the right vehicle accessories will be a savior move. Only after considering these accessories may you consider ensuring the car’s safety via a quick check of its interior and exterior (mentioned in points 2 and 3). So, the must-include accessories are:
- A Roof Rack: Out of all the automobile innovations, a roof rack or tub rack serves gold during a long drive. Although some cars have a pre-installed roof or tub rack, buying a ute roof racks is wise for keeping the items in proper condition.
- Extra coolant and Oil Engine: You can carry some bottles of engine oil and even coolant. If otherwise, the car runs out of these liquids, you wouldn’t have to worry then.
- Spare Tire Tube or Tire: A significant and common breakdown that anyone may experience during a road trip is flat. So, the extra tire tube may come in handy and promote a memorable trip.
- A Toolkit: Most cars have an essential toolkit for taking care of minor repairs on the road. It encompasses screwdrivers of different sizes, black tape and duct tape, locking and adjustable pliers, assorted hex keys, tire gauge, wire cutters, and zip ties.
- Air Pressure Gauge: Check the tire pressure after regular intervals. Driving a long distance may take a toll on the tires. Thus, it’s safer to carry the air pressure gauge.
- Sun Protector for Windows: This is a useful accessory if you are going to a hot area and want to keep the sun rays out of sight.
Check the Car’s Exterior
Checking the car’s exterior, like tire condition, screenwash, windscreen wipers, and lights, is also imperative before starting your road trip. Let’s learn how to check these elements:
- Tire conditions: Check the tire pressure. Worn tires may affect the handling, safety, and braking systems. So, before planning the long journey, always ensure that the tire treads are 1.6mm deep across its central 3 quarters. If it’s below 3mm, always replace it.
- Screenwash: It helps in keeping your windscreen clean during the journey. So, don’t forget to check its condition.
- Windscreen wipers: Ensure that the windscreen wiper is in a stable condition. Replace it if and when required to remain stress-free during the journey.
- Lights: Entirely functional Lights are a prerequisite for safe and secure travel. So, before the long journey, it’s always great to check the headlights, brake lights, and indicators. Get the assistant to stand beside you while you’re turning on the lights in succession.
Check the Car’s Interior
Even after checking the exterior of your car, your trip may go wrong just because of a negligible fault in its interior. So, you need to ensure the utmost safety of the vehicle’s interior features, including:
- Oil Level: Oil keeps the engine running smoothly. And running out of oil can cause expensive damages, thereby leaving the owner stranded. So, that’s the last thing you would ever want to experience on your way back home, right? Thus, you can use the vehicle’s computer to monitor its oil level.
- Engine Coolant: By regulating the cooling system’s temperature, coolant keeps the engine healthy. And newer cars comprise a closed cooling system. If you have an old car, the level is in the reservoir.
- Mode of Driving: If you have a new car that has safety driving features, you need to choose the “eco” driving mode to boost comfort while driving.
- Battery: Besides checking its expiry date, check its electrical charging system. Remember, undercharging and overcharging may damage the longevity of the battery.
- Exhaust System: Ensure that the system is working correctly because a faulty one would cause trouble.
- Brakes: Consider checking the conditions of the brakes. Inspect the accessories such as hoses, brake pads, rotors, brake fluids, and drums. Early warning signs of faulty brakes include grinding, squeaking, brake pedals’ sponginess, and steering wheel shaking.
Monitor Battery Health
This is one of the vital tasks before starting a journey with your loved ones. Ensure that the battery is in good and working condition to prevent any breakdown during the journey. A good battery will allow a smooth travel experience for the users and charge for long travel hours. It should be fully charged before commencing any journey.
Ensure that the tires are in working condition and that there must be efficient grooves to have a safe journey. In cases of emergency or breakdowns, a spare tire can help to reach your destination easily. Have a safety check for the tires as they play a vital role in controlling the car’s speed. Also, make sure that there is a sufficient amount of air pressure inside the tires to have a smooth and comfortable ride.
Check The Headlamps
The car’s headlamps must be in proper working condition as they play a vital role in providing clear visibility during the dark. It is essential to analyze the lighting accessories and to replace the non-working ones at the earliest. Also, to be on the safer side, check the emergency lights and essential indicators while taking a sharp turn while traveling.
Check Locks And Seats
To have a comfortable experience, make sure that the seats are well maintained and are clean. The seat belts should be adjustable that helps to provide high means of safety during travel. Also, to ensure safety for the passengers, the locks must be working fine and should be easy to open and close whenever required.
Fuel And Exhaust System Check
The car should come with enough fuel capacity to have a smooth journey for the passengers. Check the fuel level before starting the journey and ensure that it is filled to the fullest. Also, check the exhaust systems and opt for a pollution control check to understand the working condition of the vehicle.
Check Brakes And Steering
Make sure to check the condition of the brakes and steering of the car before starting the journey. Most of them tend to become stiff if not used for a long time. It is essential to use lubricants and oils to smooth the brakes and steering before starting the journey.
Check Air Conditioning System
To have a soothing travel experience, it is essential to check the cooling capacity of the air conditioners present inside the car. They must be in proper working condition and should provide sufficient cool air for a comfortable experience. This comes in handy, especially during the summer days when the outside temperature is high compared to the normal.
Carrying All The Documents Before The Travel
It is essential to carry all the documents of the car while you are traveling to your destination. This includes the driving license, car insurance papers, repair works documents, pollution control certificate, etc. It will help offer a safe journey and comes in handy in the case of a police verification check near the toll booths or if you need to cross any state/country borders. In some cases, an assortment of ID is needed to stay in a hotel for the night, while some may be lax in this. However, it does not hurt to stay prepared, right?
Carrying The Emergency Kit Is A Must
Make sure that you carry an emergency kit while travelling in the car. This can be helpful in the case of any accidents or burns while travelling from one place to the other. Also, it ensures good forms of safety for the passengers. Also, keep the contact numbers of emergency services like hospitals and clinics nearby that can be useful in case someone falls sick while traveling. It saves some time and may end up saving somebody’s life when they are out on the road.
When planning a long road journey by car, pack anything that might sound beneficial during an emergency, such as a red warning triangle to alert drivers of your presence, a portable battery booster, and an emergency tool kit. You can also keep some spare clothes and snacks inside the vehicle if you are stuck somewhere. A pouch of turmeric is also worth carrying as it acts as the sealant and may benefit you when the car radiator stops working. Just add some pinches of turmeric in it and see how it covers leaks. So, with these tips kept in mind, you can have an incredible long road journey.
To summarize important points:
When you set out on a long road trip, your vehicle becomes your home–the place you’re comfortable and the place that’s yours. It’s important to take a little bit of time before taking off and look at how to get your car ready for a road trip in a couple of different ways including mechanical issues, navigation, and comfort.
Clean your vehicle out before you load anything else in, and you’ll be grateful immediately after. Having a cleaned out space will make it feel homier and almost like you have a new car to ride in.
Take your car to your regular mechanic and get your normal oil change done, and let them know that you’ll putting a lot of miles on it soon. This way they will check your tire pressure and fluids for you and let you know what’s going on with your vehicle. Make sure they check your spare tire–and if you don’t have one, look into getting one. It’s much better than ending up without one when you need it.
Get a GPS set up in your car. You can get one permanently installed, or you can get a portable one and set it up in just a few seconds. These are so convenient to have when you’re going to be driving through a lot of new and unfamiliar places, and they’ve improved a lot in recent years, both in design and in price.
Bring a small ice chest for drinks. You could bring a big one full of food, but this is often more of a hassle than it’s worth, whereas a small one with drinks is convenient and pretty easy to keep around, and it won’t take up a lot of space in the car.
Bring a spare blanket, flash light, and shovel in the trunk. This will keep you safe in case of a variety of emergencies that could come up.