Driving has become a struggle among the overcrowded motorways or commuter routes. Enjoying the en route sights and landscape is a brilliant way of exploring.
There are great great European road trips you must do in your lifetime. This will keep you inspired but always keep in mind that taking car care is essential for a road trip, so do not miss out on car servicing details.
Consider how much you plan on driving. Check the fluids that are the cars lifeblood:
Oil: Oil is a must for engines. Moving components such as crankshaft, pistons, and camshaft help in lubricating it smoothly. Change oil every 3000 to 5000 miles. Use dipstick and check oil condition.
Radiator fluid: Engines produce heat, while radiator cools it. The radiator fluid is referred to as antifreeze or coolant, extracting heat and eliminating through the radiator. Check coolant and make sure to flush system at intervals of 50,000 miles.
Brake fluid: Fluid compresses brake lines compelling the brake pads to slow your car. If the pedal is spongy, the fluid may have got contaminated. So before starting top the brake fluid and flush after 36,000 miles.
Power steering fluid: Power steering is used by modern cars and this helps in wheel turning at any speed easily, but it can become contaminated, thereby making the steering wheel less responsive. After each 24,000 miles check your braking system
Transmission fluid: This helps mesh smoothly and there will be uncomfortable shifts, if it goes bad. The transmission fluid lasts for a long time and cars may be sold even with transmission fluid for lifetime. Yet, replace after 60,000 miles.
Windshield fluid: In long drives your car’s exterior must be clean than the windshield. Adding windshield fluid is basic; get a jug of fluid use a funnel to fill the reservoir if it is low.
Tires are to be checked to ensure fuel efficiency, comfort and safety and it includes checking:
Air pressure– This must be checked after every 1,000 miles: Road tripper should get best fuel efficiency, that checking for underinflated tires is a must so that gas is not wasted. Conversely, overinflated tires worsen the ride quality as they are less compliant. In fact, even incorrect air pressure causes the tires to wear and require soon replacement. Check tire pressure after every 1,000 miles, depending on the trip length a few times.
Rotation– with correct pressure, road conditions, weight balance and suspension calibration may wear out the tires. Thus, rotating tires periodically is a must. Swapping between left and right side or rear and front helps tires to last longer. Tire rotations must be done after each 5000 to 8000 miles.
Replacement– If you believe the tires are close to expiration date, do the penny test. Tires last from 25,000 to 50,000 miles based on their type and use. However, replace them, if damages like sidewall bulges or punctures occur.
There are numerous components in a car to keep it in good working condition, so check the parts before hitting the road.
Brake pads: They provide friction to stop or slow the car. Replace brake pads if you hear squealing or screeching noise. The brake pads usually last for 25,000 to 70,000 miles.
Air filters: The bugs, debris and dust make roads dirty and the air filters in the cars avoid it from entering the interior or the engine. The air filters can clog and cause an impact on fuel economy and engine performance. They should be replaced once in 12,000 miles, but luckily they can be changed easily and are inexpensive.
Light bulbs: Check the headlights and walk around to see if they are in a burnt out condition. Check both right and left singles.
Belts and hoses: Under the car hood may be intimidating, but look for trouble signs that you may spot. Give a squeeze to belts and ensure they are tight. Look for any visible fraying, cracking or missing teeth indicating replacement. Check the hoses for fluid leak at the joining points.
It is not a secret that before hitting the roads, car care must be given importance so that your adventure is not ruined. Apart from these, also consider:
Carry visa and passport
Make sure to carry correct visas for the country visiting and your passport is valid.
Take passport and important document photocopies and keep it separated from the originals as you travel or store online using a data storage site
In your passport fill the contact details if required. This makes it easier to contact, even during an emergency.
Travel insurance, mandatory
If you are injured abroad or you become ill, you need travel insurance in full so that medical bills are covered, else you may have to pay a hefty bill.
Keep change ready
Tolls are found in European countries usually on the highways. Have loose change to give correct currency covering the tolls cost.
Follow rules strictly
Drive cautiously and carefully, observe the speed limits. Observing the rules ensures your holiday is smoother.
Take a break
Driving overseas, concentrating on the road is tiring and it is more exhausting as you keep on reading the road signs. So take breaks in a safe place, if tired. Remember to park in well-lit areas.