Going on a long journey can be exciting, but it’s important to make sure your car is prepared for the trip ahead. Doing some basic checks before you hit the road can help you avoid breakdowns, accidents, and other unpleasant surprises. Here are five essential car checks to perform before a long journey.
Check the Fluid Levels
Your car’s fluids are vital to its operation, so it’s important to make sure they’re topped up before you set off on a long journey. Check the oil level using the dipstick and add more if necessary. Also, check the coolant level in the radiator, as well as the brake and power steering fluid levels. If any of these are low, top them up with the appropriate fluid.
Inspect the Tyres
Tyres are the only part of the vehicle that make contact with the road, so it’s crucial to ensure they’re in good condition. Check the tire pressure using a gauge and make sure it matches the recommended pressure in your car’s manual. Also, inspect the tires for signs of wear, such as cracks or bulges, and ensure the tread depth is at least 1.6mm. If you’re not confident in checking the tires yourself, take your car to a mechanic for a professional inspection.
Test the Brakes
Your car’s brakes are essential for stopping safely, so it’s vital to make sure they’re in good working order before a long journey. Test the brakes by pressing down on the brake pedal while the car is stationary. If the pedal feels spongy or the car takes longer than usual to stop, it may indicate a problem with the brakes. Have them checked by a mechanic before setting off.
Check the Lights
Your car’s lights are essential for visibility and safety, especially when driving at night or in poor weather conditions. Check all the lights on your car, including the headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals, to ensure they’re working properly. If any lights are not working, replace them before setting off on your journey.
Make Sure the Battery is Charged
Your car’s battery is responsible for powering the electrical system and starting the engine, so car battery maintenance should always be front of mind. It’s even more important to make sure it’s fully charged before setting off on a long journey.
If your car has been sitting idle for a while, it’s a good idea to have the battery tested by a mechanic to ensure it’s in good condition. Also, make sure to turn off all lights and other electrical devices when the engine is not running to prevent draining the battery.
Performing these five essential car checks before a long journey can help ensure your car is in good condition and ready for the road ahead. By taking the time to check your car thoroughly, you can avoid unexpected breakdowns or accidents and enjoy a safe and stress-free journey.