Summer is the perfect time for a family vacation, and what could be more fun than a road trip! Apart from the sights, sounds and smells of 'greener pastures', the whole D-I-Y thrill that a road trip entails makes for a complete adventure of its own.
They say 'The journey is more important than the destination'. So here are a few pointers to ensure that your vehicle is as prepped for the trip as you are.
All those liquids: Just like you need to carry enough water to keep you hydrated through the journey, your car needs sufficient fuel and lubricants to power ahead at top speed. Before you head out, check for sufficient fluids under your hood – petrol/ diesel, engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid and AC coolant. Check for drops or stains under the car – there could be a leak.
Pressure and puncture: While pressure may not be good for your health, it's essential to check air pressure in your tyres before heading out on a road trip. While you're at it, check that spare tyre in your boot, and make sure the jack and wheel wrench are working properly. The last thing you want is to be stranded because of a flat tyre.
Need for speed: Who doesn't enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with driving at top speed on open roads? However, for a truly thrilling but risk-free experience, make sure your battery is charging properly. Also check that the brakes, brake pads, speedometer, gear box, safety belts, steering and suspension are in top form. Another tip, especially since the rains are now upon us? Check that your windshield wipers are in order in case the weather report reads, 'Sunshine, with a hint of rain'.
Light it up: If your road trip involves travelling after dusk, check that headlights, tail lights, emergency lights, indicators/blinkers and the horn are all in fine working order. In fact, do a check even if it's a day trip!
Stay cool: We all look forward to a blast of cold air from the air conditioning on a sweltering, sultry day. So, before you head out, check the air filter in your car and make sure the car cools properly. Do your car (and yourself) a favour - carry covers for the car and the steering wheel. This will give your car some protection if you have to park in the sun for long.
And for you!: Download an offline map of the route in case your GPS decides to take a holiday of its own. Keep an emergency first-aid kit and a torch handy. Carry a power bank for your cellphone, so that you never run out of charge, even if your multi-pin USB charging cable gives up on you. Last, but not the least, don't forget to carry your favourite playlist. You may not always be able to pick up a radio station.
Bon Voyage! And don't forget to wear your seatbelts.