One of the best ways to create memories with family and friends is by going on a road trip. You’ll get to spend quality time with each other, play games, and rejuvenate your soul. In fact, even if you are going for a solo road trip, you can still avail numerous benefits.
Solo or not, taking a trip away needs to be the best experience of your life.
However, things don’t always go as planned. Driving for long distances and for several hours might result in a car breakdown. Moreover, if the weather is not favorable, it can cause even more inconvenience.
Therefore, before you get started with the planning and packing, you need to prepare your car for the trip. Preparing your car in advance will help in minimizing the risk of it breaking down in the middle of the road.
Here’s how you can do it yourself.
Check The Battery
Battery issues are often the primary cause of vehicle breakdown, especially during winters or when visiting cold locations. The primary issue will be difficulty in starting the engine, as it may take longer than usual or maybe don’t start at all. There could be many reasons why you have a flat battery. For instance, leaving the lights on while the engine is off or the vehicle has not been used for a long time.
Nonetheless, this issue needs to be resolved immediately. Otherwise, it’ll spoil the whole thrill of going on the trip. To repair it, you need to clean the battery terminals and protect them from corrosion. You can also take the vehicle to a repair shop and get its battery recharged.
In case your vehicle is older than 5 years, you should consider replacing the battery with a new one.
Change Your Tires
Generally, people don’t pay attention to the situation of the tires unless they get flat. A puncture can be caused by road potholes, sharp objects, worn tire tread, or tire valve failure. Therefore, you need to check whether the tires need to be replaced or not.
In addition to this, before you start your journey, make sure that tires are inflated to the correct pressure. You can learn about it by reading the vehicle manual. Also, keep a spare tire, jack, and other tools with you. So that in an emergency situation, you can easily replace it.
Note: While you are on the road, avoid driving over the potholes or damaged roads. It’ll reduce the chance of a flat tire.
Pay Attention To Alternator
Alternator helps in generating power for the car’s electricals. Besides, a faulty alternator can also interrupt your car batteries from charging. Eventually, the batteries will go flat.
In such a situation, you have no other option but to call for assistance.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to the signs that indicate the alternator is having trouble working. These signs include slow wipers, dimmed headlights, flickering lights, and the glowing ignition warning light. If you notice any of these signs, take your car to the repair shop immediately.
Check The Brakes
Another thing that you need to check is the brakes. Is there any grinding noise when applying brakes? Is there any kind of resistance in the brake pedal? Or Do you feel the car pulling to one side when stopped? It could be a warning sign that you need brake servicing.
In addition to this, if you feel vibration or scraping when you hit the brake pedal, it indicates that Brake Rotors need to be replaced. There are several other signs that you must pay attention to as well. Nonetheless, to avoid any unfortunate event, you must get the brakes checked or replace their parts if necessary.
Keep A Spare Key
Locking your car keys inside or losing them is a silly yet common mistake. Generally, the key has a microchip, which makes it challenging to replace it. Therefore, you need to keep a spare key with you all the time.
But what if you don’t have the spare key? In such a scenario, call for roadside assistance for your rescue. They can help you tow the vehicle and may also provide you with a temporary key. Nonetheless, it would be better to get a spare key before you start your voyage.
Note: Keep the spare key in a safe and easily accessible place. For instance, you can keep it in your jeans or wallet. Or, you can give it to your friend or family member.
Examine The Electrical System
The car’s electrical system includes several circuits that control everything- from headlights to stereo. That’s why you need to check the lights, horns as well as windshield wipers. There could be some problems such as faulty wiring, blown fuses, or burned-out bulbs.
You can track down these issues using a multimeter. However, it would be better to seek assistance from a professional. They can run a complete analysis, identify the problem and resolve it.
Pack An Emergency Kit
Along with packing the first aid kit, you should create an emergency kit for the car as well. Life is unpredictable. Thus, even if you have checked and prepared your car for the trip, you still shouldn’t take any chance. The emergency kit can help you reach the nearby repair shop, thus save you from getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Generally, the kit includes roadside flares, jumper cables, bottled water, paper towels, duct tape, flashlight, tire inflator, and a toolbox containing screwdrivers, wenches, screw holders, gauges, etc. These can help in repairing the vehicle temporarily and until you reach the repair shop.
You can also carry a gallon of gasoline so that you don’t run out of fuel. And don’t forget about the spare tires.
Having your car break down while you are all set to enjoy the trip is such a killjoy. However, with the measures mentioned above, you can prepare your vehicle to be on the road. Moreover, as you have packed an emergency kit, it’ll ensure that you can repair the vehicle immediately. Thus, you can easily get out of trouble and continue your journey.