How to Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip
Post on 02-Dec-2015
DESCRIPTIONHere are some useful tips on preparing your car for a road trip.
How to prepare your car for a road trip & what to carry with you
Image Source:FlickrHappiness isa road trip!Dont you agree?They say road trips arent measured by the distance you clock but by the moments.And its those moments that you will come to cherish the most. We after all live for the journey and not the destination.Whether you are planning to do the Chennai-Pondicherry on the ECR, Bangalore Ooty, Mumbai Mt.Abu, the Yamuna Expressway or the Manali-Leh on NH3, the first thing to check off your list is the fitness of your car!Imagine being stuck in the middle of nowhere trying to get help. You really dont want that stress and frustration. If you are planning a road trip sometime in the near future, ensure that your car is in top condition.Heres a list of the most basic recommended checks for your car. While some of them maybe easily verified by you if you arent new to car maintenance, it is always best to leave the maintenance to your trusted car mechanic or your authorized car service center.The Essential Fluids1. Engine Oil It lubricates the moving parts in the engine. Prevents heat and friction that could end up destroying the various components. This can result in engine seize up. This will cost you a LOT of money to get it working again.2. Brake Fluid You want your brakes to be working fine all the time irrespective of whether you are on a road trip or driving in the city. You wouldnt want to compromise with the brakes ability to stop the car! The brake fluid is essential in smooth functioning of your brakes. Low brake fluid could also indicate a worn out brake pads. Have them checked too.3. Transmission Fluid This ensures that your gears are working smoothly. The fluid must be of reddish hue and must not smell burnt. If it does, then its time to replace it.4. Power Steering Fluid It is the hydraulic fluid that transmits power to the wheels. When it is at the ideal level, it ensures smooth steering mechanism5. Radiator Coolant The radiator directs the coolant around the engine to absorb heat. It returns the heat to the radiator which is then dissipated. If the coolant level is low, your car can heat up pretty quickly and leave you stranded.6. Windshield washer fluid You may think that its not important because its not going to stall your car. Well, you do need a clear view of the road and your windshield will be collecting a lot of dust and residue from bugs/flies while driving. So check and top it up if empty. Also ensure the wiper blades are working fine and are in good condition.7. Fuel A full tank before you hit the road. This doesnt need any explanation, obviously.Belts and HosesHoses carry fluids and any leakage due to damaged hoses can lead to severe engine especially if its a coolant leak. When belts break the components they were powering stop functioning. Loss of power steering, overheated engine and failure of electrical system are results of faulty hoses and belts. Inspection of belts and hoses are best left to trained automobile experts. Have it checked by your service center.TyresA few inches of rubber is what keeps you firmly in contact with the road.Tyres with good (and deep) tread condition and properly pressurized are more critical for your safety than you can imagine. While you are it, ensure your spare tyre is in good condition as well. Ensure that the pressure is as per your manufacture recommendation and that the treads are deep enough.LightsCheck the headlights, taillights and indicators and ensure they are working fine. Defective lights will confuse other drivers on the road and impair your visibility. You need a clear view of the road and you need to alert other drivers when you turn or slow down. Have them checked and keep a spare set of bulbs in your emergency kit.Air condition and defoggerAn air conditioned car especially in summer ensures comfortable driving when on a long drive. A fully functional defogger is must when driving in monsoon or in the event of sudden rainstorm.BrakesGood set of brakes are your defence against untoward obstacles, rogue drivers and bad road conditions. They are the single most critical safety feature of your car. If you notice loss of grip, soft brake pedal, car veering left or right when braking or a squealing noise, its time to get it checked.Air FilterIts an inexpensive part of your car that a tremendous amount of work. A clogged air filter is detrimental to the performance of the engine and your cars fuel efficiency. Change air filter as per your owners manual. Have it checked especially if you are going to be driving in dusty conditions.BatteryA dead battery means that your car is not going to start. Its as simple as that. You battery needs to be in good condition for not just the vehicle to start but also for other electrical equipments and accessories in your car. If youve faced starting issues with your car, it may be an indication that your battery needs replacement. Jumpstarting is not even an alternative when you are planning a road trip. Get the battery also checked and replaced if necessary.In addition to the above, a lot ofcar service centersoffer multi-point check-up for your car if you are planning a road trip.Once youve checked off the car service bit, ensure you check off of the below list ofmust-carryitemsfor a road trip1. Food non-perishable items such as biscuits and energy bars2. Drinking water3. Blankets4. Wet wipes, baby wipes, sanitary napkins5. First Aid Kit includes medication (painkiller, inhalers etc) for both adults and kids, assortment of bandages, antiseptic ointments, sunscreen, cold and hot packs, cotton balls and scissors6. Seatbelt cutter7. Small shovel8. Flashlight9. Jumper cables10. Fire extinguisher11. WarningTriangle12. Tow rope13. Road Map (its a backup)14. Phone charger15. A list of emergency contact numbers ambulance, towing companies, roadside assistance, traffic helpline, car rentals, close friends & family16. Awesome music to keep your spirits up!While we wouldnt want anything to go, its always advisable to be prepared for emergency situations. It helps to follow the checklist above and also get the car fully checked by an auto shop. This is going to save you money and more importantly keep you safe on the road.Once you have checked off everything, dont spare a moment but hit the road._______________________________________________________________________________________________CarServo is the smartest way to connect to car service centers in Bangalore for all your car maintenance needs. You can book a service with a Maruti Service Center, Hyundai Service Center or choose a service center of your choice based on the brand of your car. Our network also includes authorized service centers for Renault, Honda, Chevrolet, Nissan, Datsun, Volkswagen and more.