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How to prepare your car for long trips

Posted by Royal Sundaram on 05 Oct 2012

A road trip is what every adventurous heart waits for. But car owners are concerned about taking their cars on long trips. In reality, a long trip is much easier on your car as compared to the daily driving. However, a breakdown in the middle of a highway you not really familiar with will be tough on you. To avoid such mishaps on your trip, conduct a few simple checks on your car. Here are some tips –

Read through your manual: Go through the owner’s manual and make sure to carry it with you. This book contains a lot of details like towing a trailer, changing a flat tire, where to find the jack etc. Also, you can find the fluid capacity specification in the manual if you need to top up engine oil or other fluids during the trip. The manual also offers tips on how to jump-start a car if the battery dies, what to do if the engine overheats, how to change a headlight bulb etc. In case you’ve lost your copy, download it, but sure you carry one with you.

Check tires and the spare as well: Check your tire pressures. Ensure they are inflated to the proper pressure. Low pressure in the tire can create extra heat buildup that can blowout when your car is at high speed. Also, carry a spare that is fully inflated. Carry the jack, wrench, and other tire-changing equipment with you.

Get the schedule maintenance of your car done before the trip: Send you car for a total check up to the garage. This will help you see defects that must have missed your attention. So, if you need any oil changes or other maintenance to be done, now is the time.

Check your windshield wipers: This is the right time to replace your wipers if they don’t clean the windshield properly. Or you can even consider replacing the rubber refills; they cost less and can be bought at the local dealer’s store. See if the windshield washer jets are working properly.

Clean your car: This is one of the most important preparations you need to do before a road trip. It is good to travel long distances in a clean car as it keeps you in the mood to drive longer. Also, the more you carry in your car the more fuel you burn. So whatever it is that you would not need on this trip, take it out.

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