Road trips are always fun. Beautiful wide corners bring joy like nothing else in the world. But to make sure there are no speed bumps in your epic journey, it is important to ensure that your car is in top shape. Here is a handy checklist for you to make sure your car doesn’t throw any surprises en route, thus taking the fun out of your roadtrip.
If the tyres have got low tread or have visible cracks, they need to go away for good. Highway driving is a lot more taxing on the tyres due to higher speeds and longer driving durations, thus accelerating the wear of rubber compared to city driving. If the tyres appear good visibly due to low usage but have crossed their life, it is advisable to replace them as they don’t offer as much grip and might develop cracks quickly during high-speed operation.
It is very important to ensure that all the fluids are in proper quantity and state. Check the engine oil, wiper fluid, brake fluid and top them up or replace as required. Your vehicle owner manual is the best place to find details on what oil grade you need and when to replace.
Ensure your brakes are working perfectly even at higher speeds because, on a long roadtrip, you will find yourself going much faster than your city run. Check the thickness of your brake pads and replace them if they seem to be approaching the end of their life. Also, find an empty section of road to check that the brakes are working effectively on all wheels and the car isn’t trying to change direction under hard braking.
Ensure that the wipers on your car are working properly and that the wiper blades are wiping the windscreen properly. Over time, the rubber on wiper blades loses its flexibility and isn’t as effective in cleaning the windscreen as a fresh set of blades. Replacing is a quick process and replacement blades are generally not very costly.
Keep an eye on the spot where you usually park your car for any patches of liquids which could indicate leakages. Also, make it a habit to inspect the underside of the car for oily residue or rust stains whenever you take it for a wash so that the problems are identified even before they blow up.
It goes without saying that all your lights should be working properly, even if you are not planning to drive at night at all. The lamps are not only to help you see better during night driving but to also make you more visible to other road users, particularly while driving on single carriageways. Also, check the lights that aren’t normally used like hazard lamps and fog lamps to ensure operation.
Most cars come with a reasonably equipped toolkit that can help you with jobs like changing the tyre in case you have a flat. Before you leave, make sure you have all the tools that were there and add tools that you think aren’t included but should have been. Also if you aren’t experienced, it doesn’t hurt to get a quick understanding of how to carry out basic jobs like changing a wheel or replacing a fuse.
Make sure you are carrying the required documents: driving licence, vehicle registration, valid insurance cover and PUC certificate before heading out. Leave copies of these documents at home and save photographs of the documents on your phone to present quickly when needed.
This is a very important bit that people often forget. When heading out for a long trip away from home, carry the spare key with you so that you are not stranded anywhere on losing the key. The spare key should ideally be carried in bags that you are certain to not leave in the car when taking a stop.
The above mentioned steps should help prepare your car for whatever journey you plan to take up. Don’t forget to keep your roadtrip assistant, EasyRoads, handy for everything, from finding beautiful places to offering roadside support. #HitTheRoad and write epic tales.