Top 10 Tips While Preparing For Your Summer Road Trip
Modified On May 26, 2022 11:57 AM By Sonny
Being better prepared will help you enjoy your time on the road with fewer worries
It’s that time of the year again when most people have a vacation on their mind. Road trips appeal not only to driving enthusiasts, but also to those who want to make the most of a few days away from work. While you make all the necessary plans and reservations for your next summer road trip, here are top 10 tips to make sure your car and yourself are ready for the purpose:
Check the air conditioning
If your car was recently serviced and given a clean bill of health, this should not be an area of concern. If not, it’s best to make sure that your air conditioning system is working well and cooling the cabin sufficiently. The summer heat would make life difficult for all occupants if there are any unattended issues with the AC, especially when traveling with children and or pets.
Look after the lights
Make sure all the lights work as they should. The headlamps, all indicators, fog lamps, brake lights and the reversing lights should be functional. Also remember to check that the various settings of your headlamps such as high beam, flicker, and level adjustment, are in working order.
If you have spare time, make sure you give your headlamps a wash and a clean. Older lamps tend to have clouded lenses and therefore do not provide the desired luminosity.
Note:- Remember to switch off the lights when exiting the vehicle or you might find yourself stranded with a dead battery.
Oils and lubricants
Good car care means regular services and topping up all the necessary oils and fluids. This would not be a concern for a recently serviced car. In other circumstances, check all the gauges and telltale lights in the instrument cluster for any hints. If you hear any unusual noises while operating your vehicle, it is best to get it looked over by a qualified technician before setting off.
There are fluids you can check and fill yourself as well. The coolant tank is easy to check by lifting the bonnet and looking for the colorful liquid. Another common fluid that needs regular topping up is the washer fluid for your windscreen wiper system.
Also Read: Top New Cars In India
A quick check underneath
After checking if the car is topped with relevant fluids, it is good to drop down and check for any fluids that might be leaking from the vehicle. It also helps to check the underside of your car for any signs of wear or damage that could become a critical issue and have it fixed to avoid being stranded on your road trip.
Tyre tread and pressures (even the spare)
Just because your tyre is not flat does not mean it’s ready for a road trip. Make sure you check the tread levels for each of your tyres to make sure none of them are worn out. If any of your tyres are severely lacking in tread depth, you should get them changed as the grip level is key for your safety while turning and braking.
Second check-up for the tyres is the pressures. Ideally, get these checked and topped up at your nearest fuel pump which has a tyre pressure service. You can check the ideal pressure for the tyres of your particular car online to make sure what the target psi should be. Also remember to do a pressure check for the spare tyre. It’s no good to have a spare if it’s in the same condition as the punctured one.
If your windscreen wipers make weird noises when used, or if they simply don’t do a great job of clearing water, you should get fresh wiper blades. In case you encounter rain, or simply use the washer liquid to clear away any muck, it is a huge relief to have effective (and quiet) wipers. In case there are any issues with your wipers, it is mandatory to have the issue resolved before heading out on a road trip.
Those were the tips to get your car mechanically ready for a summer road trip. The following points are helpful tips on things you should have IN your car:
All modern cars come with a basic first-aid kit from the dealer. Make sure the items in the kit are usable should they be required. It also helps to prepare your own first aid kit with items such as antiseptic ointments, bandages, some form of disinfectant, medical tape, cotton and a small pair of scissors.
While it would be ideal that you don’t need these items, it helps to have them in your car when you’re leaving your known area and going for a long drive. Some basic tools you should pack in your car, maybe in the glovebox, are a small but powerful flashlight (put fresh batteries or recharge), tape, and some form of multifunction knife which houses tools such as a screwdriver and a short blade.
In-car entertainment (cables, download music/make a playlist, something for kids)
To avoid a last minute purchase, it’s best to prepare the in-car entertainment items before heading out on a road trip. This includes keeping USB cables for different types of devices in your group of travellers, preparing a playlist of songs for the drive so that there are fewer distractions (download them onto your phone if you can in case you lose network), and any adapters you might need. If you’re travelling with kids, make sure to pack some compact entertainment such as card-based games or trivia games, that would keep them engaged and not kick the back seat of the driver. Or just pack a tablet with a bunch of videos downloaded to it.
Also Read: Top Upcoming Cars In India
Chances are you’ll be using some form of application on your smartphone to guide you through your road trip. While that is well and good, there are chances where you might find yourself out of network coverage and not be able to access the GPS route you were following. To avoid such a scenario, go through your planned route in detail ahead of time and make physical notes of the major highways you will be taking and any prominent towns you might pass. These notes will allow you to get easier assistance from locals whom you might ask for directions, or to be reassured that you’re on the correct route when you cross any road signs informing you of the next town or the name of the highway you’re on.
These are our top tips to help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable summer road trip. Do let us know in the comments if there are any other useful tips and tricks that you use while preparing to head out for a long drive.
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