Your safety on a road trip depends on the condition of the vehicle that you’re currently using. This is why inspection and maintenance of the vehicle before you embark needs to be a must on your to-do list. Moreover, on this trip, you will spend more time behind the wheel than you will in months of an urban commute. This means that all your car’s parts will come under a lot of stress and duress. Therefore, it’s a priority that you inspect the vehicle afterward, as well. Here are several tips for inspection and maintenance in both of these scenarios.
Checking your tires
The first thing you want to do is check all your tires including your spare tire. Provided that it’s been a while before you’ve changed them last, you might want to consider rotating them. You see, FWD and RWD cars don’t wear out their front and rear tires at an equal pace. This is why rotating them every once in a while allows you to achieve this equilibrium and keep a higher level of control over your car. Ideally, you would replace the tires altogether but this investment might be excessive, especially if you’ve already changed the tires several thousand miles ago. At the very least, you need to make sure that the thread is in great condition, as well that they are properly inflated.
While it’s possible for you to handle some of the maintenance tasks on your car, on your own, the vehicle inspection of the vehicle should definitely be a top priority. Now, if you intend to put a special emphasis on safety (as you should), you can’t afford to rely on your own knowledge in these mechanical matters. What you need are the services of a professional. So, several days before embarking on this journey, you should look for suitable local auto repair and service specialists and contact them to make an appointment. Several days is more than enough, seeing as how shortening the gap increases your certainty.
Prepare for the harsh road conditions
Another thing you need to do is make sure that your car can handle whatever comes ahead. For instance, if there’s a likelihood of heavy rain (there always is), you might want to replace your windshield wipers. Regardless if you expect to travel at night or not, your lights need to be fully functional, with some spares in the trunk. The tires need to be, not just in their prime but also suitable for the season and road conditions that are expected for the journey. Needless to say, you can’t expect to carry all four (well, five actually) replacements with you. Also, the type of oil needs to be suitable for the temperature (its viscosity). As you can see, there’s so much work ahead.
Check your battery
Your car battery is one of the most important components for the performance of the vehicle, sadly, it is often omitted from these lists. Why? Well, because batteries are durable in general. A decent car battery should hold enough charge for about 10 to 15 minutes before the engine starts. The simplest way to check your car battery is with a multimeter. The way this works is fairly simple. First, you set it to 20 DC volts. Then, you touch the negative terminal with the negative meter probe. After this, you touch the positive terminal with the positive meter probe. The same should be done with the headlights on. As you can see, you don’t really have to be a mechanic in order to do so efficiently.
Ideally, you would check the car as soon as you return from the journey. Why? Well, a lot of problems with the vehicle cannot be noticed in controlled conditions. There are some problems that happen several hours into the driving session, which means that, unless you go on regular road trips, this is something that may elude you for years. This, on the other hand, doesn’t make it safe or safe to ignore. What you need to keep in mind is that the maintenance of your car should always be a priority. Preparing the vehicle for a road trip and tending to it as soon as you return, is an ideal way to stay true to this idea.