A road tripper’s guide on how to avoid car trouble
All your bags are packed and you’re ready to go… But, have you checked your car before you leave? Inspecting the car thoroughly before going out on a weekend drive is one of the precautions which ensure a perfect vacation.
Breaking down of a car in the middle of nowhere is definitely not a situation you want to be in. Although roadside assistance could save your day, car trouble creates havoc with itineraries. Furthermore, it is much more convenient to inspect and repair your car in the comforts of your home or a garage, rather than in the middle of a highway.
Here’s a list which looks at some of the ways to avoid such untimely surprises.
1.A well-oiled machine
Oils and lubricants are essential for a smooth ride. Engine oil prevents the wear of moving parts of the engine. A variety of fluids are meant to ensure the working of parts, such as clutch, brakes and steering wheel, by lubricating them. Transmission oil ensures the smooth switching of the gears on your cars.
Inspecting the levels of all the oils and lubricants is of utmost importance. Don’t forget to check the car for leaks before taking it out for a drive.
2.Keep it cool
Radiator fluids help to maintain the temperature of your engine. A low level of water or coolant can be detrimental for your car, resulting in overheating of the engine. You can easily inspect the level by opening the radiator cap only when the car is cool.
3.A healthy heart
Engine and battery issues are notorious for causing car breakdowns. Regular inspection of the ignition mechanism and spark plug is necessary to maintain the engine performance. The battery should be checked for corrosion and replaced, if required.
As this isn’t a trivial matter, make sure that you get professional assistance to sort out any engine-related issues.
Proper functioning of the brakes and clutch is very important. While the clutch is instrumental in negotiating slopes, the importance of the braking mechanism cannot be emphasized enough. Make sure that the brake pads and liners aren’t worn out and check if they need replacement. For clutch safety, the pressure plate and the clutch plate should be adjusted as needed.
5.Don’t be a tyre-less crusader
A flat tyre can cause major delays to your travel plans. Don’t forget to check the tyres for fractures and damages to the rim. If the tyre is exceptionally worn out, replace it immediately. Sufficient air pressure in each tyre is one of the indicators for a healthy set of wheels. Just to be safe, it is better to carry an extra tyre on your journey.
During summers, the tyres become more susceptible to punctures due to heated roads. Temperature fluctuations can also adversely affect the air pressure in the tyres. Hence, extra care is advised.
6.The right signals
Inspection of signals and indicators form an important part of your car check-up, especially if you are travelling at night. Make sure that all the electrical equipment is functioning (as required!). Align the headlights properly to ensure sufficient illumination and focus. Ask a friend to help you out as you test all the lights (headlights, tail lights, indicators) on your car.
7.Last but not the least
If you’re taking your car out to enjoy the rains, you’ll need to keep a few more things in mind. Wipers are essential to provide a clear view of the road ahead. The usual suspects for non-functioning wipers are a blown fuse or a loose wiper arm nut. If not, it is advisable to replace the wiper blades.
Even after you follow all the steps, there might something going wrong anyway. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared, rather being prepared will cut down the time you spend being stuck exponentially.