Is your car road trip ready? Well if you are not sure, don’t worry because we have put together this awesome article to help you!
Don’t forget for ALL your travel requirements, come and see us at Randburg Midas and we will make sure you are ready for the trip of a lifetime.
How to prepare a car for a long road trip
A long trip is a serious test for your car and even a small problem such as a worn windshield wiper or out-of-balance tire can cause a lot of troubles. We have prepared a few simple tips on how to prepare your vehicle for a trip. However, this checklist does not include many other important items such as brakes and suspension components that may only be inspected by a mechanic in a garage with the car on the lift. Don’t leave it for the last moment, do it few days before your trip.
Check your car owner’s manual
Have a look in your vehicle’s owner’s manual and don’t forget to keep it in your glove box. The owner’s manual contains plenty of useful information from how to tow a trailer to how to change the flat tire and where the jack is located.
Under the bonnet:
Are there any leaks? Are the battery terminals clean? Does the drive belt look worn out? If the belt appears cracked or glazed, have it replaced before the trip. Check all the fluids.
Check engine oil
To check the engine oil, park the car on a level spot, warm up and stop the engine. Wait for a minute to allow the oil to drain down the oil pan. Pull the engine oil dipstick out, wipe it with a clean rag or a paper towel and insert it back fully. Pull it out again and check the level – it should be close to the “FULL” mark on the dipstick.
If the engine oil appears too black, it’s better to change it now.
Check the automatic transmission fluid
A long trip with a full load will be another exam for your automatic transmission. If your transmission fluid change is due soon, do it before a trip.
Visually check engine coolant (antifreeze) in the overflow tank
Visually check the engine coolant level in the overflow tank. Your owner’s manual has the directions. The level should be between “Low” and “Full” marks.
Check the battery condition visually. If you see any acid leaks, cracks or other damage, the battery must be replaced.
Make sure the battery terminals are tight and not corroded. Corroded terminals will cause troubles.
If it’s been a long time since you changed your air filter, it might be a good idea to change it before a trip. A dirty air filter will cause lack of power.
Other items to check under the bonnet
Check the brake fluid level. Low brake fluid level may indicate worn out brake pads – have your brakes checked.
Check the power steering fluid.
Top up the windshield washer fluid.
Lights and other electrical equipment
Check the horn, wipers and all the lights. A couple of spare bulbs (one for the headlight, one for the back) might be useful.
Replace the wipers if they don’t clean the windshield properly. If you still have the original wipers installed, you can just
Check the tire pressure. Recommended pressure is indicated on the manufacturer’s label, which usually located in the driver’s door frame
Spare tire, wheel wrench and the jack
Check the spare tire pressure and check if the jack is still operable
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