It is common knowledge that not taking your cars on long journeys often can actually reduce the battery life. So, that’s great if are taking your dear car for one. However, before you do, there is one aspect that you must not ignore – car parts inspection.
It’s fine alright if your car has been working fine on routine commutes. Before a longer trip, however, you must ensure that your car is in good shape to bear the burden of performance. So, here are a few parts that you must check before every long journey, especially if you have an old car.
Conduct Car Parts Inspection on These Parts
Check all the fluids including the brake fluid, differential fluid, transmission and differential fluid. It is easy to get it done at your usual service station, but it is not too difficult to do it yourself either. You can refer to your car owner’s manual to find out where these are located and what levels are needed.
There are set intervals at which each must be changed. So if the due time is somewhere near, change it before you leave.
Also, make sure that you check the engine oil as well as the coolant – the two very important elements in keeping your car running smoothly and managing heat generation.
Checking the brake system is an extremely important part of car parts inspection. As the brake oil ages, it starts attracting moisture due to which brakes are likely to get corroded. Check the level and color of the oil. If it looks like maple syrup, change it; if the level is not up to the “full” mark, add more. It will prevent squishy pedals and damage to your cars brake parts.
Tire Treads and Air Pressure
Since your journey will be long, it is important for you to have the car tires in perfect condition. Tires with low air pressure and/or worn out tread lessen the grip on the road and increase the chances of accident. The right pressure for the tire is mentioned on the tire. Maintain it.
You could use a penny test to measure tire treads. Alternatively, you could use a tread gauge. For longer journeys ensure that you have at least 2.5mm tread on the tire. Else, replace it.
Two great maintenance tips here: Keep a good gauge with you, so that you can also keep a check on the go. Also keep an air hose with you.
Apt supply of clean air helps the engine improve its performance. If the filter isn’t working well, the performance could be pulled down. Also, make sure that you check cabin filter. A defunct or not-so-efficient filter can bring down the quality of air in the cabin and make you uncomfortable.
Check all the lights and signals in the car. Check it by turning on each light – headlight, indicators, reverse lights, tail lights. If they are working well, that’s great. If you see any anomaly, fix it.
Most times, the problem lies with the bulbs. Check it in time because changing light bulbs in most modern car takes time. Also, look for the headlight alignment, and get it fixed if out of alignment. It adversely affects visibility.
Average car battery life is 3-5 years. If you range anywhere between, make sure you check that there is no corrosion on the terminals, and that the leads are tightly secured. If your starter is already sounding sluggish, you need to change the battery before the long journey. You do not want to be stranded en route. Do you?
So, Bon Voyage! But do your car parts inspection first.