Most modern vehicles can be used for long-distance travel since they are faster, more streamlined and most importantly, the engines rarely overheat. However, if you intend to go for a long trip, it is wise to prepare in advance. A vehicle has many mechanical parts which undergo wear, tear and corrosion and you can’t know when you might get stuck. For this reason, it is recommended that you check the following things if you want to have a successful trip.
1) Emergency kit
Your car might fail to start after a long idle time or you might get stuck in the middle of the road due to low battery voltage. Cold weather, running electronics, and even a faulty alternator might cause this problem. To be on the safer side, ensure you carry jumper cables with you. Other tools that might get handy in case of an incident include a Tire pressure gauge, gloves, fire extinguisher, Tire sealer-inflator can, a Flashlight, windshield washer fluid, electrical tape, an emergency stop sign, and a Basic tool kit.
Long trips are unpredictable and you might encounter various problems on the way. Carry drinking water, warm clothing, and even supplies, especially if you are driving through a remote area. A first aid kit is also important since you might get burned, cuts and other injuries when fixing your vehicle.
2) Change engine oil and filters
Oil is important in the lubrication of automotive engines. Insufficient or contaminated engine oil might affect the performance of your engine and it might eventually cause engine failure. When preparing for a long trip, it is recommended that you replace your oil and the oil filter. Select an oil filter that can remove most impurities. According to autoshopaccessories.com, high-quality oil filters use a synthetic filtering material which can eliminate more than 90% of contaminants. A good filter will not only extend the lifespan of your engine, but it will also maximize its performance. In addition, high-quality filters come with anti-drain back valves which prevent oil from flowing back to the engine even after a long idling time.
3) Check your lighting system and other electrical components
The lighting system is very important in all vehicles. There are various types of lights on a vehicle; most of them provide illumination at night while a few signal other motorists on the road. Ensure that both headlights and taillights are working properly. You might consider carrying a spare headlight since it can be helpful if one of the bulbs burns out.
Most urban roads have hundreds of pedestrians and other motorists; therefore you need to check your horn to avoid causing accidents. You might also encounter various wild animals if the road passes through a remote area or a forest. Hooting scares most animals, thus making them clear the way. Also, ensure that your navigation system is also functional to avoid getting lost and it also enables you to locate nearby gas stations and other amenities.
4) Check the jack and spare tire
Ensure that you have a lug nut wrench and a jack since one of your tires might have a problem. You can use these tools to replace a tire on your own, especially if you are in a remote area. Consider checking the pressure of the spare tire before travelling and ensure it is easy to access.
5) Check the air conditioning unit
The Air conditioning unit helps you to regulate the temperature of your car’s interior. A functional system allows you to keep your car cool, especially if it is a hot season. On the other side, the heating system keeps you warm if the outdoor temperatures are very low. The system also minimizes humidity in the car, thus preventing the windshield and windows from fogging up. Therefore, it is recommended that you check if the unit is working efficiently.
6) Preparing Your Vehicle for Long Travels
Aside from packing safety essentials, make sure to prepare your car for long travels. If you’re traveling with children or pets (or both), best outfit your car seat with durable, waterproof covers. Remember to bring a cleaning kit to deal with the potential mess and backup covers for replacement. This way, you can continue your trip comfortably.
A well-maintained vehicle can travel for a long distance without experiencing mechanical failure. It is recommended that you check the functionality of various parts of your vehicle a day before going for a trip to avoid getting stuck on the way. Some of the things that you should check include oil level, spare tires, air conditioning unit, emergency kit, and many more.