Planning on going on a fun road trip? You need to make sure your trusty hatchback is actually ready for the vacation. Here are several tips on how to do that:
Check All Fluids
It’s a given that you should check all fluid levels in the car. Start by checking fluid gouges under the bonnet, including engine oil and coolant. Then check brake fluid, steering fluid, and the rest. Refer to your vehicle’s manual for exact instructions on how to check and to understand when fluids need changing. You may want to change the fluids anyway when you are going on a trip. Engine oil, for example, may need switching to handle a warmer climate when you drive out back.
Get the Tyres Ready Well in Advance
One of the most important parts of the car that makes the road trip possible is the set of tyres. These should be in optimal health before you depart. Not only that, you need to make sure that your hatchback has the right tyres to tackle the territory you will be driving on.
It’s highly recommended to take your vehicle to a mechanic in advance of your road trip. Tell the mechanic about the road trip, and ask if the tyres are suitable for the driving conditions. Your mechanic would advise you if you need to switch to different types of tyres for the road trip.
More importantly, the tyres should be adequately inflated for long drives. The wheels may require inflation or deflation depending on where you plan on driving. Install a high-quality tyre pressure monitoring system in your vehicle to check inflation levels as you drive. With a system like this, you will immediately know if the inflation levels are inadequate as you drive. No need to go out and pinch the tyres when you have a more accurate system installed.
You would need to have tyre treads checked out as well. Don’t forget to pack a spare tyre or two for the long road trip. The last thing you need is tyre trouble in the middle of the outback.
Confirm Light Health
The hatchback’s lights must work at their best before you embark on the trip. First, do an inspection of all lights, heads and tails. The lights should work correctly. You need to perform a signal light test as well. Don’t be surprised if you need new brake lights, because these globes are notorious for blowing too quickly.
While you are at it, check the headlight covers as well. The plastic bulb protectors should be highly transparent without any signs of cloudiness. Hazy headlight covers are oxidized and disrupt the brightness of the bulbs. Therefore, it’s recommended to clean or restore your headlight covers before going on the road trip.
Inspect the Braking Mechanism
The importance of checking the brake pads and the overall mechanism is obvious. Most drivers can’t do it themselves. Therefore, it’s recommended to go to a professional auto mechanic and have the brakes checked and tweaked as necessary. If you still drive stick, have the clutch checked out too.
Don’t let car trouble ruin your road trip fun. Perform the above tasks and plan at least a month in advance to get your hatchback ready for the vacation.