If you are going on a vacation or any long route trip, it is important to make some necessary checks on your car before you hit the road. It is the best if you take your car to a service station before going on a road trip to have a thorough inspection. The service guys at a workstation are professionals and are experienced and have all the recommended tools for examining the vehicles.
Many components need to be examined when you want to take your car for a trip. Examining the car thoroughly and getting it serviced before a trip ensures good performance, mileage, and safety during the trip. This post shares the six things that you should check on your car before you hit the road for a regular commute of for a holiday trip.
List of Things to Check Your Car Before Road Trip
#1. Check All the Fluids
It is necessary to check all the fluids in your car before you go on a long route trip. The fluids include the engine oil, brake oil, clutch fluid, the coolant, and the windscreen washer fluid. You need to check the level of all these fluids and top up those which are below the average level.
Engine oil lubricates the parts of the engine, reduces the friction between and ensure the smooth running of the engine. Brake oil helps in braking and the clutch ensure the proper functioning of the clutch while upshifting and downshifting of gears. If your car is equipped with power steering, it is also essential to check the level of power steering.
If you have recently got your car serviced, then you may not need to replace the fluids, top up which are below the average level. It is recommended to keep all the fluids to the maximum level before going on a long route as they enhance the performance of your car on the road.
You should always use the fluids recommended by your car manufacturer. Any other fluids used the car may damage the components, or the relevant parts may not function smoothly. The optimum level of fluids also helps to get the maximum mileage and efficiency from your car.
#2. Brakes Are Important for Safety
Brakes are the most critical components of your car that ensure the safety of passengers and the vehicle itself. You cannot imagine driving a car with faulty brakes, especially while going on a trip with your family. Get the brakes of your car thoroughly examined before you go on the trip.
It is better to get your brakes examined from the service station instead of reviewing them yourself. Sometimes the brakes are worn, and we are not able to figure out the worn pedals are low levels of brake fluid.
The service guys have all the tools to examine the brakes, and they may also drive your car to check the efficiency of your brakes. Whether your brake pads or the brake fluid needs to be replaced, the service guys offer you the right solution. They also check the alignment of your discs which is essential for proper braking of the car.
#3. Tires for Better Grip and Braking
It is important to check your tires after every few days. A more thorough check is required when you are going on a road trip. If your tires are in a bad condition, they can adversely affect the mileage, speed, engine performance and braking of your car. In case the tires of your car are worn, you should get them replaced with the new tires.
You can easily check the condition of your tires using a thread gauge or penny. You should have minimum 1.6 mm of tread left on your tires. If the tread is left less than 2.5 mm, then it’s time to replace your tires, especially if you are going on a long journey.
Before you go out on your trip, it is also important to check the air pressure in all the tires. Keep the air pressure as recommended by the car manufacturer. Sometimes the gas station guys don’t know about the correct pressure that your tires need.
Check your car manual to know the required pressure and ask the gas station to fill the air with recommended pressure. Any value of pressure less or more than the recommended value will affect the performance, speed, and braking of the car. It is also recommended to check the air pressure of your spare tire as you might need it in case any of your tires get punctured during your trip.
#4. Lights and Signals
Lights and signals are important for safe driving and clear visibility in the dark, especially on unlit roads and tunnels. You should check all the lights which include the headlights, taillights and turn indicators before going on a trip. You may need help from a friend or family member for this. You should sit in the car and turn on the headlights, fog lamps and ask your friend to see it from the front.
If they are working properly, then turn on the front indicators one by one, and ask him to check whether they are working properly or not. Similarly, you need to check the tail lamps and turn signals on the back side and on the side of the car.
If any light of turn signal is not working, get it examined by a mechanic or service guys at the service station. Also, you should ask them to check the alignment of your headlamps and get it corrected if they are not properly aligned. Your faulty light may have a loose connection or fused bulb. Whatever the reason, you should get your faulty lights fixed before you go on your trip. Moreover, you should also check the interior cabin lights and backlight of your car and get them fixed if any light is not working.
#5. Get Your Car Serviced
This is recommended if you have not recently got your car serviced. If you have driven your car more than 1000 miles after the last service, it is recommended to get it serviced before your trip. The service includes a thorough inspection of all the vital components and fluids of the car. The vital components that require examination include the body of the car, tires, lights, turn indicators, suspension, windscreen, oil filters, air filters, wheel alignment, and brakes.
Moreover, any problems in your car that are not a part of regular service can be fixed during the service of the car. For example, any specific problems such as power windows not working or a hard steering, or windscreen crack can be fixed. Any spare part that needs replacement can be replaced with the original spare recommended by your car manufacturer. Getting your car serviced by the car manufacturer’s service station provides you with many benefits. They use the right engine oil, fluids and provide you with the original spare parts. Moreover, they have the relevant equipment required to examine your car. This ensures that your car has all the recommended fluids and original parts that are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
#6. Ensure Your Vehicle Is in Proper Working Condition
Whatever your mode of transport, you must ensure that it works well and is up to the task at hand. If you are using a car, be sure to fix any issues it is facing, e.g. if the windshield wipers are not working, get them fixed immediately.
If you intend to ride in a truck, you must take similar steps. However, you would be better off by going one better here; invest in the best truck air horn. These horns are exceptionally loud and can rise above the noise of traffic jams and hordes of people, among other things. This will help you to navigate much more efficiently during your drive.
#7. Get Your Papers in Order
It is important to have all the papers when you are on a road trip. You are more likely to be checked by the traffic police when you go out of your city as they stop you as soon as they see your registration number. The traffic police are usually strict in metro cities like Brisbane, and they can stop you for checking the papers. The papers include your driving license, your car’s registration certificate, insurance papers, and pollution slip. If you miss any of the papers, you may get fined by the traffic police of that area.
Moreover, you should study the traffic rules of the state or city where you are going for the trip. The traffic rules differ from state to state, and you need to follow them when you go on your trip. If you fail to follow a traffic rule, you are not aware of and caught by the cops, they will definitely fine you for not following the rule. For example, some states require special tapes to cover the headlights while in some places high beams are not allowed. Others may require you to drive below a speed limit. There it is better to study the traffic rules of the main cities that you need to pass through.
In addition to these things, you should also get the windscreen and other glass of your car examined. In case there is any crack or chip in your auto glass, you should immediately get it repaired. If the crack is large, it is better to get it replaced. If you are in Brisbane, you should contact the windscreen chip repair Brisbane for getting it replaced.
These are the essential things to check before you hit the road for a trip. Following the above tips, and getting the things fixed that need repair or replacement will ensure good performance, mileage and safety of your car when you hit the road.