The year 2017 is littered with long weekends which one would love to exploit for a quick weekend get away with a quick drive to a nearby destination. Here are seven-essential items that will make your journey much smoother if you go through this simple quick checklist before you hit the road.
Check your tyre tread wear, recent punctures and cracks. Checking your tyre pressure before you set off is a good practice. Make sure you are running on the recommended pressure level recommended by the manufacturer. Driving at high speed will cause the tyres to heat up, which can lead to the tyre pressure to increase. If the life of the rubber of the tyre is not in good nick, it can cause a blowout. Also, check your spare wheel and your replacement kit if they are in working condition. The last thing you need in the middle of nowhere to be stranded due to a puncture.
Wiper Blades & Lights
Inspect the condition of your wiper blades and replace them if required as extreme heat or cold climates can harden the rubber blades. Run a quick check of the head lamps, tail lamps, emergency brake lights and indicators should be done. Replace weak or fused bulbs, and ensure that the lights aren’t foggy/misty before commencing your journey. Checking the life of the car’s battery is usually something most people overlook, a weak battery will not allow all the electrical components of the car to function efficiently.
It’s always better to inspect fix leaks from the rubber hoses and pipes before hand, rather than having to fix them in the middle of a road trip. High engine temperature too could be a sign of a leak. To be sure, raise your car and look for oily residue or rust-coloured stains in the underbody and around flexible pipes near the engine. If there are patches or pools of oil in the space that you have parked your car, there is a high probability that there is a leak.
Before hitting the road, make sure you equip yourself with emergency tools and equipment. Carry a spare mobile phone or a power bank, a life hammer, a multi-purpose knife, jump leads if possible, a portable air compressor and a first aid kit.
Worn out brake pads can lead to a disaster if not detected and partially worn out pads are difficult to notice. Have a mechanic check your brake pads and its life. A lack of bite in the brakes and a judder in the brake pedal upon being pressed are also signs that your brake pads need replacement. Modern cars come with disc brakes, so keep an ear out for squeaking noises when you apply the brakes. If the pads are worn, the squealing noise will be evident as the brake calliper would be rubbing against the brake disc rotor.
Prior Route Mapping
Make a note of the route and plan out your journey before hand and try to have a schedule. GPS devices or smartphone apps are useful and will provide you with the fastest routes to your destination. However, while a route on the app may seem faster, it may not be aware of the condition of the roads. Prior knowledge of alternate route will come in handy in case your primary route gets choked due to some reason.