One of the biggest thrills of owning a car is long drives. It is the best way to experience what the world of the automobile has to offer, more specifically your automobiles you and your passengers simultaneously take in the breathtaking view. As romantic as that seems, one actually needs to take a special car before going out on these cruises.
See, going from your local grocery shop or office to traveling between cities and states are two totally different things. Not only do they take a toll on the man but the machine as well. You might have the best car the market has to offer, the 2023 Toyota Highlander, 2023 Volkswagen Atlas but unless you go through a series of checks at CarIndigo portal you never really know when you can run into unforeseen trouble.
Fortunately, it does not require you to be a trained mechanic to carry out these simple checks. It does not matter if you have the 2023 Toyota Highlander, maybe a 2023 Volkswagen Atlas, or maybe even a classic from 5 decades ago, these checks should be done on every vehicle before you set out on a long cruise. If you know that the trip would be exciting, you should also have a sense of peace of mind while you are out so that you can enjoy the experience fully. Here are some tips which you can follow to do exactly that.
1. Checking your car’s fluids
One thing you must really check when you are travelling long distances by car in the USA is the car fluid. This is something you should do regularly regardless of the length of the journey you are on. There are multiple types of fluids your car runs to keep the basic functions of the automobile smooth and you can consequently run into a variety of problems if you do not take care of those fluids.
They range from coolant, motor oil, brake fluid, or even windshield washer fluid; you should check everything you possibly can if you do not want to run into a problem and nobody wants that when you are miles away from any professional help in the middle of nowhere. Take your time in familiarizing yourself with the various fluids you can check from under the hood.
Also, make sure you do not overdo it so conversate with your mechanic to know about the general know-how before touching anything under the hood. After you are thorough with enough knowledge with whatever you are doing, regularly check your fluids if the car has some substantial amount or they need to top up.
2. Checking the electronics
The modern automobile has a host of electronics, any typical car nowadays has kilometers of wires inside. Electricity needs to flow to the headlights, to the side mirrors, and of course through your dashboard.
A variety of these things are essential when you are out on a long drive so you don’t want any of these things to go wrong, especially your lamps regardless of whether you are traveling at night or not. This too can be done easily enough, before your ride turns the engine on and toggle the switches. The modern automobile has a variety of lights so it is in good practice to check all of those, namely the headlights and tail lamps, hazard lights, turn signals, interior lamps, and high beams.
Familiarize yourself with the various dashboard lights or tell-tale signs as they are the indicators if something is wrong with your car and which part it is. Whenever you run into such a problem, rush to the nearest service center to have the wirings of the bulbs checked.
3. Checking the brake pads, belts, and hoses
How commonly have you heard brake pads letting out high-pitched screams whenever you are stepping on the brake pedal. This can be a case of the brake pads getting too thin and in that case, it is essential to get them checked. It is recommended not to wait if the pads are thinner than 6.4 mm; get them replaced as soon as possible and the new brake pads are usually around 13 mm thick.
You also need to check belts and hoses, your car isn’t just metals after all. Tires are not the only place where the rubber is used, belts are used on the engine hoses are used in various and rather crucial components under the hood.
4. Checking the tire tread
Properly inflated and good condition tires are crucial for a smooth drive. Don’t just inflate the tire till you feel it’s right, read the vehicle owner’s manual to know the correct air pressure mentioned in PSI. Every vehicle may not have the same PSI rating so you should check that always. You must go through the traveling tips also when you are checking the car.
Another reason you need to do that is because of the fact that the numbers on the walls of your tires are not ideal but the maximum pressure the tire can handle. Another crucial aspect of checking tires is to check the tread depth, another check you should do regardless of the length of your trip. The most famous way to do that is the “coin test”, you can find hundreds of thousands of videos explaining that on the internet.
5. Never overinflate your tires
Yes, it is true that a drop of 1 PSI would pull gas mileage by almost 0.4% which is obvious considering that the tires support the entire weight of the car. But that does not mean that you can overinflate your tires to maximize fuel efficiency.
While that will actually happen, it also means that the contact patch of the tires to the road will be much lower and hence you will have less friction and eventually much less control of the car. Poor stability is one to start with, then there is the steering and handling which won’t be as the manufacturer intended and you might lose control of the car.
6. Always bring your spare tire and tools
You never know what you might run into while you are out on the road. Some basic tools will make a magnitude of difference, a set of jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, early warning device, and a spare tire, they are basically your first aid for your car, (on that note it is very essential to carry first-aid for humans as well).
If you follow all of these tips carefully, you can now go out with perennial peace of mind and actually enjoy your drive without fretting about something going wrong with your drive.