Nobody likes driving long journeys on a regular basis, but if there’s one thing that people like doing even less than that, it’s breaking down on them. Not only does it add needless hours of waiting to your journey, but it can also mean costly repairs which you need to splash out on, sometimes there and then with a repair company. With that in mind, it’s important to keep on top of your car’s potential failings, which is why there are several key checks to remember before heading out on a long journey.
These notes apply just as much to business car users as they do to consumers, which is why we turned to BusienssCarManager for some of its top tips on how to prepare for a long journey, as well as adding our own favourites:
Check your tyres
Tyre health is incredibly important for several key reasons. Firstly, they give you the grip you need to stay on the road, so if the tread is running particularly low, you need to have the tyres changed, preferably before your big trip but certainly soon after as nobody wants a blow out on a major highway and perhaps worse, you don’t want to lose control in a puddle or a patch of oil that a truck happened to spill on the road.
More than that though, you need to check your tyre pressure. Tyres that are under-inflated can significantly increase the wear of the tyre during usage, but more than that, it can increase fuel usage by as much as 25 per cent. If you fancy paying a quarter more for your fuel than the average driver, then feel free to ignore this point, but wise drivers check their tyre tread and pressure before a long drive.
Check your oil
Oil isn’t just important in two stroke engines, where a lack of it can cause the engine to seize up or blow out, but it’s a big deal in larger car engines too. Checking it is as simple as pulling out the dipstick and checking the levels, but many drivers forgo this important step, thinking that it was just something they learned how to do for their test. Keeping an eye on oil levels can not only let you know when you need a top up, but can also warn you of any potential problems with the engine that may need further investigation.
Check the battery
This goes doubly for those in cold climates. Making sure your battery is working correctly should be something that every driver checks now and again and especially before a long journey – as starting your car without one is not the easiest thing to do. If you do feel like your car’s battery might be dying however, make sure to park near a hill, or make sure you have some strong friends in-case you need a bump start.
Don’t forget jumper cables too.
Check your water levels
Water is a surprisingly important part of most car’s engine, despite the fact that just a few drops in the tank or air-vents can spell disaster. Making sure you have enough washer fluid is important for those moments when mud is slung from the road in-front and on to your windscreen, but keeping the radiator topped up is vital too. Checking their levels before leaving is a great idea, but always have a bottle in the back somewhere for emergencies.
What are some of your top tips before setting off on a long drive?
Image source: Andrij Bulba, Hamad Saber