How To Check Your Car Before Hitting The Road
Having your car broken down in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night is certainly not something we all enjoy. When you are traveling long distances and only have nothing but regret for not checking your car before leaving, you will seriously have a hard time. Unless if you are a good repairman and you have the right tools with you, surviving an emergency breakdown is nothing but trouble. Such instances are really inevitable; therefore, we must ready ourselves from making this happen. We can do this by simply preparing beforehand. Here are few guidelines that you can follow before you hit the road:
Schedule your car for a checkup
You are not the only one that needs to set up for a road trip; your car must also be fully prepared. To keep a car in good shape, have some time to perform standard checkup maintenance for it. You can check the condition of your wires, wipers, radiators, and the like. If you are not confident enough about your car’s condition, you can pay a visit to a repair shop for a tune-up. When your car is in tip top shape, your chances of being stranded in a remote place are less.
Keep your battery clean and fully charged. Road trips will not even happen if your battery is dead, so change your batteries if needed. When cleaning the battery, you can simply use water and baking soda to keep it shiny. To check its condition, you can already tell its state by just simply looking at it. When the battery is already corroded, it is high time that you change it into a new one. Also, see if you can see damages, cracks, or leaks on its body. In knowing when a battery dies, usually a battery’s life lasts up to several years, so if you think it is already quite old, a changing will be advised. You can tell if a battery is old when your car starts slower than before.
Having a flat tire is the last thing that we would want to have on a joyous ride. Before you run those wheels, check if it is in good shape. See if your tires have bulges or tears on its body. Keep your tire’s pressure on an exact point and check your tire’s thread as well.
Brakes are a crucial part in a vehicle. This will seriously do you damage if you are not going to see if they are functional. Have it checked in a repair shop if changes must be made. You don’t want to go on a journey with a broken break with you.
When preparing for a long ride, you must include emergency kits in your list. We can never tell what will happen on the road, so having a kit with is a must. Before you leave the house, prepare first aid kits for you and your car. Car tools must always be stacked at the back of your vehicle because without them, you will never survive an emergency on a road.
Under the hood
Your car’s hood must be checked when you are certain that your car has a problem. It could be leaks, wire problems, worn out belts, and the like. If you think there are problems with these parts, you can always change them before you go, or you can bring it to a repair shop to have it ready for the long ride.
A car’s oil must be changed if it gets bad. You will know when is the right time to change it when the color of the oil becomes different than the original. When the oil turns way too black, it is not a good sign. Make sure to bring spare oil with you when you travel. It is always a good idea to bring an extra with you because there are instances where in some cars consume oil way too fast. Also, if you are due for oil changes, make sure to do it before you leave.
Just like a car’s oil, its transmission oil must also be well taken care of. It is always advisable to change it before you leave your home. When checking, start with warming up your car and placing it in leveled surface. Set your hand brake while your car is in idle and parking position. You can then pull the transmission stick for the testing. When you test, wipe the stick and dip it again to fully see the oil level accurately. To check if the oil is still good, it has to be reddish or pinkish in color. If it is already brown or too dark, you need to change it already.
When you are dealing with the car’s coolant, make sure it is not hot to the touch. When checking, make sure that its level is not low. When it is low, you can fix it with simply adding a coolant fluid mixed with water. Lastly, if the coolant becomes way below the low level, check for leaks. When leaks are spotted, patch it up or bring it to a repairman. You wouldn’t want to have a car overheating on the road.
Checking your car before you hit the road will definitely be so much better than not checking at all. Who knows what might happen on the road, so never underestimate the power of checkups. A car must have its maintenance if you don’t want to have problems on the road. Also, checkups are not the only thing that you can do before you leave. Bring with you a box of tools and sharpen those car repair skills. Even if you prepared your car for a long ride, lots can still happen. Lastly, never forget to bring a basic emergency kit for yourself. You can include first aid kits, enough cash, food, water, fully charged phone, and anything you deem helpful for your long journey. Nothing is certainly worse than a broken car and a suffering driver.