Travelling can be a chore, or it can be fun. It depends how long the road turns out to be, the company, the car, the preparation etc. A lot of people dread going on that long road trip, others positively relish it. Sometimes it’s just necessary. Luckily the roads are a lot quieter than they used to be in certain locations because a lot of people are working from home due to covid restrictions etc. So if heavy traffic bothers you, you might be off to a good start. The key word is research. Being able to research exactly what’s going on where you need to go. The issue is that a lot of advice centres on certain locations, or even on certain situations. These may not apply to you in the least. So you might go under prepared or even spend money over preparing when you simply don’t need to. This is why it’s important to apply any advice that you receive directly to yourself and your own situation and not just take it as gospel. There’s can see you off to a good start!
Make Sure The Engine Is Running Right
If the car is on its last legs, you don’t want to be going on long distance road trips which can end up with you waiting on the roadside for a pick up truck. Make sure it’s running right. From old car to new car. It could be from replacement mustang coilovers right the way to a new battery. Make sure the engine and the components that support it are running to a high standard. It’s the first thing worth checking before moving onto the rest of the car. No point moving onto the other aspects before ensuring the car itself runs smoothly. If you know nothing about cars and you’re a bit worried, it might just be worth asking someone beforehand like a mechanic or a friend who knows about cars. Embarking on a long distance journey with an engine you might think is even a little bit broken is never going to end well and can end up being seriously dangerous for you and other people on the road.
Right Tires For The Right Job
In some countries changing tires for each season is a legal requirement. If you’re heading up into mountainous terrain, or somewhere which is icy, or perhaps somewhere which sees a lot of snow over the years. Make sure that you think about it. It’s not even a case of completely changing your tire over, just make sure that there’s sufficient grip on tight turns and in icy weather. If you do think you’re going somewhere a little dangerous, then swap them out for suitable ones. At the same time you need to ensure they’re filled with the right amount of air. If you’re taking more luggage with you you’ll need to put more air in the tires. If you’re not sure then buy a pressure gauge and double check. You can find the PSI rating in your car’s handbook or online if you aren’t sure. Getting those tires right is really important because underinflated tires hurt your braking distance, it also means you might slide due to bad grip and on another note it can ruin your fuel economy.
Pick Your Route
Satellite navigation is great, but sometimes it can fall short. It’s worth having a quick scout ahead before you set off on your journey. This means simply looking over the route and knowing where the key highway interchanges are. Sat-Nav can also be off in terms of real time instances of traffic blockages or roadblocks. If you just do a quick look online you might find a key route you’re taking shutdown due to extended road works or construction etc. You also need to check your Sat-Nav is up to date. Have a quick look and connect it to the internet by finding your wifi or plugging it in so it can download anything it needs. If it isn’t working, you can just use your phone as they’re pretty good these days the only caveat is that phones aren’t always good if you’re going right into the sticks and off the beaten track.
Windscreen Wipers Need To Work
One of the easily forgotten parts of car maintenance is the replacement of wiper blades. Easy to do. However if you’re driving fast and they suddenly give way you’re not going to be able to see and it could cause an accident. You know they’re not working when they start to smear the windscreen instead of clean it completely. You can buy them fairly cheap and there are some great manuals online telling you how to replace them, there are also a tonne of YouTube videos etc., out there which will help you out, but of course a mechanic can do this for you if you don’t have the time to learn or if you just need it done reliably and fast. Don’t forget the rear one either and you’d probably be better off getting a decent one instead of a really cheap one which might wear down fast.
Get Your Car Serviced
If you’re going on a longer journey and you really aren’t confident in your own ability with cars you should consider getting it serviced. It’s likely you do this anyway at least yearly, but doing so before a long journey in hazardous weather can only be a good thing. The engine will be checked, the fluids, including oil, coolant, etc., will be topped up for you and your tires checked. Any issues can be easily resolved because they’ll pick up on them and you can then go ahead with their suggestions. There are lots of places suitable for a car service, some people like to take it to a branded garage matching that of their car which makes sense but you can usually take it to any authorised garage, just make sure that you ensure they’ve got some good reviews and know what they’re doing.