There's no better time to enjoy a road trip than the Yuletide season when you're heading to your favorite Christmas destination with your family. On the flip side, the road trip can easily become exhausting when your car breaks down hundreds of miles away from home, auto mechanic or even a city. As we all know, in Nigeria, there are certain locations that will make it hard for you to find a mechanic, these locations can not be escaped while traveling.
In order to be safe during your long Christmas ride, there are certain boxes you need to tick before setting out. At Naijauto, we've taken out time to explain all the car parts you need to check before embarking on that long Christmas ride. Look out for the following:
If your car is new, your engine coolant is designed to go 100,000 to 150,000 miles, but if it's up to four years already or fairly used, check the coolant reservoir and make sure it's full. The brake fluid is also very important. You have to check if the color of the fluid is odd and if it's low. To ensure your journey doesn't get boring, change the oil and fill it up.
Also, it's important to check for any fluid leaks under the vehicle. Make sure the fluids are hoses are intact, if they're not, report to your mechanic.
>>> To buy the best engine oil, check Total engine oil prices in Nigeria.
Did you experience any unusual activity with the steering wheel a few days or hours ago? If you did, you may have to ask your auto mechanic to check it out. Having an issue with the steering might cause an accident on the road if you're not careful enough.
Check the steering wheel carefully to ensure a full control of your car
Are the wipers doing a good job or just wiping water halfway? The rainy season is currently upon us in Nigeria, change those wipers before the road trip.
4. Brake pads
Once the brake pads are wearing off, there's a big problem on the way. Does the brake pad feel softer when you step on it or does it just sink to the floor? It's supposed to maintain a certain level of weight, if not, it needs immediate change.
>>> Learn the 5 most common brake problems & how to deal with them.
If you have to travel at night, checking the vehicle lights are extremely important. We're sure you don't plan on driving with a flashlight, so just save your car from frequently jamming into potholes or rolling into a ditch.
Well-operated headlights are also important for a long ride
The engine belts underneath the car are very critical. If the belts are worn out, loose or torn, do yourself a favor and get it changed. If this isn't checked properly, you may not be able to charge the car battery and the vehicle will begin to overheat.
You may have experienced how much frustration a dead car battery can bring, especially when you're in a hurry. If your battery is more than two years old, check if the leads are pretty tight and if the terminals are corrosion-free. Secure the leads well and clean off the terminals before hitting the road.
Your tires mustn't be overinflated, underinflated, have tears or inflections. Also, check the tyre pressures regularly as well as tread depth, replace the tyres if they don't reach the recommended pressure.
>>> Read about the implications of low tire pressure on your vehicle!
Other important tips for a long ride at Christmas
- Take a spare car key along with you
- A spare tire is crucial as well
- You just might need a screwdriver, carry all available sizes along
- A plier and hammer may come in handy
- A flashlight is very important
- In case of irredeemable eventually, travel with a strong chain or towing rope
- Don't forget a fire extinguisher
- Fill your gas tank in the nearest furl station
Lastly, you must test drive the vehicle. After test driving, if you're convinced everything is as it should be, you're ready to go. However, there's no harm in having a professional auto mechanic re-check your car. We know you can Do It Yourself and we also know the mechanic may charge you unnecessarily, just find a trusted one to test everything testable. Just by hearing certain sounds, a professional mechanic can detect the core problem with a vehicle, something you may have trouble figuring out. Suspension, strange engine sounds, vibrations, or steering stiffness may not be something you can solve, a professional mechanic is your best bet.