how to prepare the car for a long trip

Ready to go on a trip? When we go on the road, our car experiences more wear and tear than usual, as it runs for longer periods of time, depending on the duration of the trip, exposing some damaged or bad components, especially moving parts. who are constantly wearing out, giving of themselves; We’re sure you wouldn’t like to be stuck in the middle of nowhere under the incisive gaze of your companions.

For this reason, it is of the utmost importance to carry out an examination of the car’s systems with a magnifying glass to ensure that everything is working properly, and if not, to replace a part that is on the verge of failure. So the first thing we need to do is focus on the components that need the most time to inspect before putting the bags in the trunk.

WHAT TO DO

The first step is to check the level of engine lubricant and its condition, and for this the vehicle must be on a flat surface and with the engine cold to have a correct reading when we remove the bayonet. If it is below the maximum level, we must fill; If the oil is very burnt and has already lost its viscosity, the healthiest thing is to change it.

Take the opportunity to check that the brake fluid and antifreeze levels are correct, as well as the condition of the hoses that transfer the fluid from the radiator to the engine, since the heat and pressure inside can break them.

The tires are the only parts of the car in contact with the road, so we have to make sure that the tread and the rest of its structure are able to withstand a trip.

A worn tire greatly increases stopping distance, and if you add to this the weight of occupants and luggage, it can cause the tire to burst due to the heat of friction with the asphalt and the pressure of the tire. the air inside, without forgetting the little grip we will have, especially in rainy conditions.

Do not compromise your safety and yours and change them if they show these symptoms; Check that they are aligned and balanced so that the tread is even. The next thing is to check the brake system as it is one of the most important components as it depends on when the car stops.

It is advisable to observe the wear of the linings and, based on this, determine whether it is necessary to change them for new ones, in the event that the thickness is less than three millimeters, or simply to clean them and adjust them. Another important aspect is to check the condition of the shock absorbers, whether they have no oil leaks or are already expired, as well as the lubrication of the forks, ball joints and other suspension and steering components.

Bear in mind that a set of shock absorbers in poor condition or another element that has play will compromise the stability of the vehicle, especially when cornering. Check that the pipes through which the coolant circulates from the engine to the radiator are not cracked, as they could rupture due to the high temperatures produced by the continuous work of the thruster.

Check the belts that drive the generator, alternator, water pump, and air conditioner for cracks or frays, as they could also break under stress.

Check that the main (high and low), stop, reverse, turn signals and turn signals work. Another aspect to consider is that over time and exposure to the elements, the rubber of the wiper blades hardens and ceases to fulfill its mission; If so, install new ones and check that the washer fluid level is optimal.

Finally, check that the spare tire, Phillips wrench, hydraulic jack and reflective safety triangles are in working order, and don’t forget to include a basic tool kit (mechanic’s pliers, screwdriver, keys, etc.) in case of damage. unexpected.

THE CREW

The first thing is to arrange the suitcases so that the heaviest, although not the most voluminous, are at the bottom, in the bottom of the trunk, and the rest of the luggage at the top, thus keeping the center of gravity of the car as low as possible.

It accommodates the load in the trunk in a balanced way so as not to affect the stability of the car, i.e. it prevents one side of the compartment from being more loaded and heavier than the other.

If you are traveling with the second row of seats unoccupied, fasten their seat belts, this will prevent, in the event of a collision, the backs of the rear seats from giving way, suitcases from shifting and injuring the driver and passenger.

Avoid carrying luggage in the passenger compartment at all costs, as an object could be thrown around and hit you in the event of emergency braking. Consider this: a bottle of water would equal a mass of 25 kilos which, in the event of a collision, would seriously injure the passengers. Also, if you are traveling with children, it is essential that they have a minimum of mobility so that they do not get restless.

Finally, never forget that the behavior and driving dynamics of the car change when it is loaded. The main consequence is that, when braking, we will have to apply more pressure on the pedal and a greater distance to stop.

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