Long road trips can be a real kick. Plenty of time to spend with friends or family, freedom to go off the beaten track and visit some places that are not necessarily on the regular tourist maps, and opportunity to sharpen the driving skills are only some of the perks that cross our mind. However, the longer the trip, the higher are the chances that something will go wrong. So, making sure your vehicle is in a top-tier condition before hitting the road is more than advised. Let us take a look then at a couple of ways you can do that.
Research the route you are going to tackle
Take this issue even more seriously if you live in Australia, for instance, and the trip leads you through long stretches of road without any settlement to be seen. So, do your best to find the route that offers regular amenities in the form of stops, restrooms, and car repair shops. If that’s not possible, prioritize the latter. Also, take into consideration the traffic frequency. Although it is far easier to drive on the roads that are not cluttered, routs that are completely abandoned may also deprive you of the help of fellow drivers.
Prepare an emergency repair kit
Still, even if you choose the optimal route, the chances are that you will be brought to a halt without access to a car mechanic. That is why you should always have your emergency repair kit that will include the basic tools like:
- Bungee cords
- Screwdrivers and wrenches
- Towing rope
Furthermore, you should be aware that some car systems are more prone to failure than others. We are talking about batteries, pumps, and electrical systems. It would be a good idea to keep spare units in the trunk as well.
Make sure you have good visibility
Long stretches of road can take quite a toll on the driver’s attention. With this working against you, you at least need to do everything you can to maintain good visibility so you can notice the potential dangers. If we once again take Australia as an example, we can see many drivers performing professional windscreen repairs in Sydney or some other major city before hitting the countryside. We can’t see one reason why you shouldn’t do the same and make sure that no part of the road is obscured from you.
Check the essential fluids and electrical systems
All of them are, traditionally, very prone to mischiefs but have an immeasurable impact on the safety of the vehicle nevertheless. When it comes to the essential fluids, the ones you should take most seriously are engine oil, coolants, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Bringing a couple of bottles with you will keep you safe and sound if you notice any traces of leakage along the road. The electrical systems you should keep a very close eye on are the battery, headlights, taillights, windshield wipers, and fuses.
Take care of the tires
Although we often pay very little attention to them, tires are, after all, what provides the vehicle with road traction so they have a huge impact on the safety of you and your family. Be sure they are properly inflated before you hit the road. Fortunately, the recommended pressure can be easily found in the owner’s manual, and checking the pressure takes nothing more than unscrewing the valve and pressing the gauge against it. Of course, bringing a tire pump and a spare tire is an absolute must for any kind of serious long-distance travel.
These few mentions are far from a complete story but they should give you some general idea about the steps you can take to make your next road trip fun, efficient, and, most importantly, safe. No matter how well maintained your car might be, the chances of something going wrong are always there. You have to do everything in your power to keep them to a bare minimum.