A long road trip is a time of utmost happiness, explicit adventures, and relief from hectic daily work. However, things might turn into a dreadful nightmare if the trip is not well planned, not that planning always works out, but it’s better to be prepared rather than to look like a stooge.
In terms of planning for a long road trip, the vehicle tops almost every list. In fact, it should top every list since it’s the pivot point of any road trip.
Since you would never want your vehicle to stall in the middle of nowhere during a road trip, which for sure can ruin the fun, we brought to you a detailed checklist that will make sure your vehicle can stand up in any condition. So, stay tuned with this article and learn how you can get your car ready for a long road trip.
Checklist for getting your vehicle ready for a long road trip
Here is the checklist you would want to check before heading out for a long road trip:
A general overview of the vehicle
When you set out to prepare your vehicle for a long road trip, first of all, listen to what the vehicle has to say to you. Inspect your vehicle for visible/notable issues. While there are various explicit things you’ll need to check for as you set up your vehicle for a road trip, a general review is an extraordinary method to recognize any issues you may somehow or generally miss. Check the state of the windows, the condition of the vehicle’s body, and search for whatever stands apart as unusual.
Note down any issue that you may notice during the inspection and be certain you address all of the issues before heading out on a road trip.
Checking windshield wipers
Visibility while driving is one of the most significant things that you should ensure to maintain on a long road trip; otherwise, you will be at an exponential risk of an accident. To ensure crystal clear visibility windshield wipers must be in good health and working condition.
Check whether your windshield wipers need to be supplanted or not. Like any other component of a vehicle, windshield wipers also expire by wearing out from use. Wipers may likewise just dry out and split after some time. Test your windshield wipers and ensure they can dislodge water viably. If not, they’ll need to be supplanted.
Use windshield washer liquid or some water to test the viability of your wipers. On the off chance that cracks on the wipers are visible via the naked eye, they should be supplanted.
While on the long road trip you want the tyres on your vehicle working for you, not against you. Getting your vehicle stalled in the middle of nowhere due to a flat is the worst nightmare, that is why it is important that you know how to prepare your tyres for a long road trip.
Ensure that your tyres are properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Driving on overinflated tyres can prompt the higher odds of a tyre blowout due to damaged sidewall of the tyre. On the contrary, underinflated tyres will increase the fuel consumption of the vehicle due to increased rolling resistance prompted by greater contact patch. For further information on how to know or maintain the tyre pressure, please visit the newsroom of PitStopArabia -an online tyre store in Dubai.
Another very important yet dynamic aspect of tyre pressure you should keep in mind is the temperature. Tyre pressure can vary with the air temperature. On chilly days, your tyres lose pressure, and on hot days, they grow and gain pressure. Check the tyre pressure before each excursion, particularly on the off chance that you’ve experienced difficulty with it previously or in case you’re driving in a spot where the temperature varies extraordinarily for the duration of the day.
Note: you must have an air pump, air gauge, and tyre puncture kit before you head out on a road trip
While on the long road trip, it is possible that you may have to drive during the night; thus, you do not want your lights to stop working. You must test all the lights on your vehicle, especially the headlights.
Having working taillights and headlights are significant for safe driving around evening/night time. Be certain your hazard lights/indicators/turn signals are working. Turn on all the lights to guarantee each is illuminating as it should. While you’re trying the lights, sound the horn a couple of times to ensure it works too.
It’s true that licence plate light can do no harm in terms of an accident; however, it can get you pulled over. So, it’s better to always keep it in working condition.
In case you are planning on taking a road trip in a cold region, then it might be a good idea to get those fog lights installed for optimum safety.
The tread depth of the tyre
The tread depth on your tyres is very significant in terms of avoiding aquaplaning and providing traction. Also, the tyre with a tread depth below 1.6 mm is illegal. That is why you should be extra cautious about the tread depth on your tyres.
You must check the tread depth of your tyre before heading out for a long road trip. You can check the tread depth of your tyre via a penny test or the depth gauge. If the tread depth is below the legal limit in your state that you must get your tyre replaced or re-treaded.
Belts are part of the engine that keeps the tyres rolling, that is why ensuring their soundness is important. You should check the belts for any visible damage. Take a gander at the belts in your engine and ensure there are no glossy spots, breaks, or cracking. On the off chance that there are, the belt should be supplanted.
Also, you must check the tension of the belt by squeezing it with your thumb and index finger and moving it all over. On the off chance that their is an inch of play in the belt, it should be fixed or supplanted.
Your engine is the main part of your vehicle, and it needs clean and filtered air to keep working efficiently. You should make sure that your air filter is in good health and air channel isn’t clogged. The air channel is generally situated inside a black box in the form of a plastic pipe frequently called the intake.
Most vehicles can go countless miles without expecting to have the air filter supplanted, yet it’s great to keep an eye on the state of yours before setting out on a long road trip.
Note: it’s always a great idea to install a new air filter before going on a long road trip
Engine oil is something that is worth your while that is why you should always keep it maintained or otherwise your engine will stall. Checking the oil for expiration and level is the most fundamental maintenance task of the vehicle.
Start by unscrewing the engine oil dipstick, cleaning it off with a piece of clean fabric, reinserting it and taking it out again. Now take a look at the level the oil came to on the stick contrasted with the lowest and highest markers engraved on the dipstick. On the off chance that the dipstick markers show that the level of the oil is low, you should either pour in more oil or completely replace it with the new one.
Another reason you should change your oil is when you notice that the colour of the oil is blackish or when it’s not translucent. The colour indicates the state of the oil. The oil that is in great condition will be translucent and marginally yellow or even greenish in colour.
Like blood is important for the human body so as the fluids are important for any vehicle. Most vehicles depend on various types of fluids to run, ranging from radiator coolant to windshield washer fluid.
If you find it difficult to deal with the fluids, you can always consult your owner’s manual to find about various fluids and lubricant on your vehicle and how you can keep them maintained.
Following are some of the typical fluid and lubricants found in a vehicle:
- Radiator Fluid
- Transmission Fluid
- Power Steering Fluid
- Brake Fluid
- Air Conditioning Coolant
- Washer Fluid
The ability of the vehicle to brake in time solemnly depends upon the condition of its braking framework, that is why you should keep it in good condition. The most important component to look after in the braking framework is the brake pads since they also tend to wear out with time, thus decreasing the braking efficiency.
In the event that your vehicle has not been braking as effectively as it used to do or it’s been 50,000 miles since the last time you replaced the brake pads, then you might need to supplant brake pads before setting out on a long road trip.
The brake caliper plays a central role in a disc-brake system and has two functions. First, it acts either as a bracket to support the brake pads on either side of the rotor or to support the caliper bracket itself — there are other designs, but these are the two most common. Second, it uses pistons to convert pressure exerted on the brake fluid by the master cylinder into friction on the rotor.
Cleaning the vehicle and maintaining the documentation
Lastly, its time to thoroughly clean your vehicle from inside out. Since you will be spending a large portion of the time in your vehicle, you would want to perfectly clean it by evacuating trash and making room for your important and necessary luggage.
Also, make sure that you have all the necessary documentation on hand. The fundamental documents that you should have are drivers’ licence, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance, but that’s not it. You might also have to arrange some additional documents as per the requirement of your trip destination.
By completely going through the checklist above, you for sure will have a healthy car and a great road trip. However, if you have any doubts, its always a great idea to call or visit the nearest service centre.
If there is anything that I missed or there is something you would like to add such as you recent road trip experience we would love to hear about it in the comment section below.