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There’s nothing like a long drive with friends and family. The sense of adventure that comes with it is invigorating, helping you leave your strenuous life back home. With a lot more people choosing SUVs and jeeps over the usual passenger cars, getting on the road is just a part and parcel of owning the car. Not just for you, but a long drive does good for the engine of your car as well. Nowadays, a lot of people are choosing to travel between states or from the city to a holiday destination using their own cars apart from public transport. Using your own car to get around gives you the choice of making the pit stops of your choice, and you can choose how ever long you wish to take to reach the destination - taking in the scenery outside the city. That said, if you wish to travel using your own car, you’ve got to make preparations for it. Just turning the ignition and heading out to a holiday destination might just land you in a pot full of trouble, or worse, forced to cut your trip short. While a general service is absolutely necessary before you take that long drive, there are certain tips or pointers that you need to keep in mind before setting out.
Listed below is the ultimate checklist for your car before you set out on a long drive:
You might have taken your car on the road with no hesitation and spontaneously back in the day, but as the car gets older, there’s a lot that you need to look into before a drive. Getting a general service by a professional is a must. It might not cost you too much and it will keep you prepared for the drive.
Apart from the condition of your car, you need to make sure that your insurance policy is valid. This will financially protect you against any sort of eventuality that will result in your car being damaged. If you’re an adventure-seeking person, it’s best that you have a comprehensive car insurance policy as it will cover damages caused to the car under a number of circumstances.
You can use your car tyres only for a certain number of kilometers before it starts to wear and tear. Check to see if your car tyres are in good condition, or else, consider changing them before a long ride. Check the treading and see if there are any gashes on the tire caused by previous accidents. If there are, a change is recommended. Check even the air pressure of the tyres. If you’re going to be driving through a rough terrain, it is advisable not to have the pressure of the tyres to its maximum.
If there are any scratches or cracks on your windscreen, then it is advisable to have that changed as well as it will limit your visibility. A crack or scratch on the windscreen is just going to augment the beam off the headlamps of the oncoming traffic, blurring your vision of what’s ahead. This very factor can lead to an accident.
It is important to ensure your headlamps are working properly. Check the high beam and the low beam and see if it is working as you’ll have to use this on the highways and on the meandering roads of the ghat sections to signal to oncoming traffic. In addition, check if your hazard lights are working as well. This will help you greatly if your car breaks down or if you’re driving through unfavorable weather. If required, install fog lamps as well.
If you’re going for a long drive, make it a point to run a short test drive and pay attention to the sound of your car. If you can hear something out of the usual, you should consider getting it checked.
Running the same engine oil in your car on a long drive will result in your car overheating and causing a lot more complications. To avoid this, change the oil and make sure the right type of oil required for your car.
Your battery dying midway through your drive will be the last thing that you would want. Make sure that the battery is charged before you set out on the drive.
To make sure that your car does not overheat as you would be driving for long spans, ensure you refill the engine with coolant (blueish fluid) and distilled water in the radiator. These fluids will prevent your car from overheating on the long drive.
If you want your car running smoothly, it’s necessary that you have the air filters cleaned or replaced if they are damaged.
These are two things that you absolutely need to have on a long drive. A flat tyre is quite common on long drives and you’ll need the tools and the car jack in your car to get it replaced. Keep an emergency medical kit as well in case of any injuries. In addition, make sure that you have at least two spare tyres before setting out. Having a flat tyre and no spare tyre or a puncture shop close by is going to prove to be quite a drag.
Make sure that you have the roadside assistance numbers before setting out. This will help you if your car breaks down or is damaged and needs to be towed. The roadside assistance of your car dealer or your insurance company should be enough.
Needless to say, make sure that your car has enough gas at all times because running out of fuel on the highway is going to be quite embarrassing. Carry a physical road map and do not be entirely dependent on your GPS as you wouldn’t have connectivity everywhere you go. Lastly, slow down by shifting to the lower gears of the car. The engine traction is the natural braking system, and jamming your brakes all the time will heat the tyres and lead to wear and tear.
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