Don’t Let Your Car Fail You While Traveling: 6 Maintenance Tips For Amateurs
Modern life cannot be even imagined without a car. Yet, our horseless carriages sometimes bring us a lot of pain. To this end, the average age of a car found at scrappage is around 14 years, while the average age of the vehicles on the road is approximately eight years. Cars are a major necessity for everyday life. In addition, some people decide to go on a trip or a vacation with their own automobiles. No matter what the brand of your car is or how old it is, there is always a possibility for it to fail. But, worry not. There are a couple of things you can do to ensure that your car will not fail you during your long-distance trip.
Go for Regular Checkups
The most essential thing about maintaining your car properly is to make regular visits to the auto mechanic. It is of immense importance to stick to your service schedule so that your car remains in tip-top condition. If you are wondering when it is the right time to have your car checked, this depends on the time and miles driven. For instance, this can be once a year or every 10,000 miles. Typically, when servicing your car, an auto mechanic changes the oil and oil filters, checks out the air suspension, and if there are any fluid leaks. If there is a need, they also replace air filters, spark plugs, and cambelts. When going on a trip, it is essential to check your tires and suspension. In the words of folks at Strutmasters, using premium and high-quality parts will keep you on the safe side. Besides, by taking a conversion air suspension kit with you, you will make sure that all of the parts fit perfectly.
Maintain Car’s Battery
One of the reasons why people go through car problems during a trip is because their batteries go flat. In addition, if you are not using your car for a very long period of time, there is a high possibility that the battery will degrade and die. So, before setting off on the road, just to be on the safe side, it would be great to take a trickle charger with you. If your battery goes flat, then having to jump-start your car will have consequences for your car’s battery and can even damage the engine management system as well as other delicate electronics. When traveling, there are high chances for your battery to go flat for many different reasons. Taking a trickle charger with you will spare you from this pain.
Check Out Oil and Air Filters
During your scheduled service, and especially prior to the trip, you should check your car’s oil and air filters. Over time, these filters tend to be clogged, and it is of great importance to renew them regularly. Besides, changing these filters is quite an easy job to do, especially the air filters. If you want to save some money, you can check and replace these on your own. However, you need to make sure you are using top-quality products. Cheap and poor-quality filters can severely damage your car’s engine.
Use Air Conditioning
If you are traveling in the summer, then it goes without saying that you will use your air conditioner. However, you might experience high gas bills, so you might choose to open the window instead. But, you should know that when it comes to car air conditioning, there is the motto “use it or lose it”. If you intend to save up money for gas, you will most probably end up with an air conditioning regassing scenario. Car air conditioning leaks refrigerant gas if not used regularly. So, use your air conditioning. And yes, it means you should occasionally let it blow cold in winter as well.
Try to Drive Smoothly All the Time
Driving with “mechanical sympathy” is something you should practice when on the road. This means that you should control your speed all the time. By practicing this principle, you will reduce some components’ wear out and you will also control the fuel consumption. Simple things such as proper use of the steering wheel and pedals smoothly are the key elements. Also, you should be aware of the road and prevent sudden braking.
Replace Spark Plugs and Leads
Last but not least, do not forget to replace the spark plugs and leads. Even though cars have become quite complicated nowadays, this is yet another job you can do on your own. But, if you want to be on the safe side, it would be smart to let a professional do it. These two small particles can indicate some serious conditions. For instance, if the plug is relatively new but there is a gap between the electrode and the insulator, this can be a sign that your engine is underperforming.
Checking your car before you set off on a trip is a mandatory thing to do. Normally, you should check out the engine and tires, but small things can cause huge problems if left unchecked. So, for you to be totally safe, you should let the professional check your car.