Whether you're driving across the country with friends, taking the family on a road trip, or simply have to cover a lot of miles for work, a long distance journey will place extra strain on your vehicle. Having a breakdown in the middle of nowhere will disrupt your plans and become extremely uncomfortable in a hurry, so make sure you prepare your vehicle.
Make Sure You Have the Owner's Manual
Most drivers never even have to glance at their owner's manual, but you should make sure that you have it in your vehicle before you set off on a long trip. This is where you'll find nearly all of the information you could need, such as how to change a tire, where to find the jack, how to jump start the vehicle, or what to do if the engine overheats. Remember, network coverage can be patchy away from urban centres. You cannot rely on your smartphone when you need to find this information.
If you can't find your manual, just go to your manufacturer's website – they should offer an electronic copy for you to print out.
Check the Engine Oil
Your engine oil provides lubrication for the vehicle's moving parts, and you're going to need to check it before making a long journey. Start by parking on a level spot, then warm up the engine. Stop it, then wait for a minute. Open the hood and pull out the dipstick so you can wipe it clean. Next, reinsert it fully, pull it out, and check the level. It should be close to the 'full' mark.
If the level is low, or even middling, top it off with the same type of oil. If your next oil change is due soon, get it out of the way before you leave.
Check the Battery
You won't be going anywhere with a flat battery, but you don't really need to take it to a service centre for a full check if your car is working normally. You can, however, give it a visual inspection. If you see any leaks, corroded terminals, cracks, or other signs of damage, the battery should be replaced or inspected by a car service for a professional diagnosis.
Unfortunately, there is no way for you to tell for certain when a battery will die, though an imminent failure could be indicated by the engine cranking slower than normal. A new battery will typically last three to six years. If your battery is around five years old, it's a good idea to get it checked by a professional before taking a long journey.
Making sure that these tasks are taken care of before you set out on a long distance car journey will help prevent any problems on the way.Share
11 November 2015
Hi, my name is Katy, and I love to go on long road trips. However, I also know how scary it is to be stuck in the middle of nowhere when your car needs a repair. Because of that, I have figured out which repairs are essential before you go on a long journey. If you are planning a long journey, please explore these posts, tips and ideas. I hope they help you hone on which repairs or services your automobile needs before your next journey. In this blog, I cover everything from services to packing lists and more. Enjoy and thanks for reading!