What To Check Before Going On A Long Car Journey

Are you planning to take a long drive to another town with your friends or family this weekend? Is it a plan to visit your relatives? While you might have planned the entire trip perfectly, there’s something that could have gone unnoticed. 

When was the last time you took your car out to the auto shop for a quick scan? Before you take your vehicle for a long drive to another city or state, it is vital to make sure everything is functioning optimally. Not only would it result in making your trip significantly comfortable, but it could also save you from the trouble of cutting the journey short in case of a vehicle breakdown. 

8 top tips for a vehicle breakdown - AAA Oregon/Idaho

Here’s the thing, your car could be running fine while having some major problems in the engine or any other area. Regardless, it is time to help you understand what can go wrong and how to avoid breakdowns in the middle of the road. 

What Are The Most Common Issues People Face With Their Cars During Long Journeys? 

Among many things, here’s a list of problems you can incur with your ride while taking a road trip;

  • Dead Batteries: Research suggests that 23% of vehicles towed from highways and motorways had electrical malfunctions caused by an issue with the battery. Your car could have faulty starters, alternators, and other components. 
  • Tire Blowouts: The tires of your vehicle could have a blowout and ruin the trip. Your car’s tires might have bulges and abrasions, leading to bursts when taken on a long journey. 
  • Engine Failure: This is another common problem people face while taking a long drive. Any components like the radiator, timing belt, water pump, etc., can stop functioning. There can also be severe leakages of important fluid from your car, causing it to stop suddenly during the trip.
7,504 Flat Tire Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Most people only ensure to buy snacks, pack the bags, and make a playlist for the trip while ignoring the most important task. Imagine your favorite song playing, and you are having a good time munching on snacks with friends when suddenly the car’s tires go flat. It doesn’t seem very amusing, right?

Let’s Talk About Ways Of Checking Your Vehicle Before Long Trips

We discussed the primary areas of your car in which you can face challenges during a trip. Let’s get into the details of checking different parts of your vehicle before going for a long drive;

  • Firstly, check to see that the windscreen is not cracked or chipped. Moreover, check the wipers for any wear and tear to replace them accordingly. Make sure to fill the screen wash, so you can easily clean the windshield whenever needed on the road without stopping. 
  • Check the tire pressure of all fours as it determines how well the braking system performs. Use a pressure gauge to see if any of the tires are over or under-inflated. Make sure the tires are in optimal condition before setting on your journey. 
  • Make sure the oil level is ideal for a long drive as it helps the engine run smoothly. There’s a dipstick that tells whether the oil is below the minimum or at the perfect level. However, the oil level is often displayed on the screen of many new car models. 
  • If your car is relatively newer, there is no need to check the engine coolant since its cooling system is closed. However, you need to ensure there is enough coolant if your car’s model is slightly old. You can easily put more fluid as the reservoir is installed in the engine bay. 
  • See that the taillights, headlights, front and rear indicators, high beam lights, and brake lights are working perfectly. Have someone stand outside the car to confirm that every light is functioning well while switching it on/off from inside. 
  • Are your tires worn out? If yes, then it can have a significant impact on your car’s braking and handling. The tires require replacement if their tread depth is between 1.6mm to 3mm. Consider replacing the tires if the tread is not up to the standards. 
Cartoon Auto Parts Stock Illustrations – 823 Cartoon Auto Parts Stock  Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

Are you ready to have an enjoyable trip now? You should also check the fuel level or make sure your car is fully charged if it is a plug-in hybrid. Research suggests 69 million vehicle breakdowns happen within the US on a yearly basis. You can avoid adding to these statistics by merely taking your car to the nearest auto shop for a quick scan. 

The Bottom Line

Another suggestion is to keep camping and other emergency supplies in the car. Preparing for the worst always proves beneficial as no one can ever be sure of the future. Keeping a red warning triangle in the trunk to put behind the car in case of breakdown on the road is also recommended. 


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