7 Essential Checks to Make Before a Long Car JourneyPicture by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Whether it's using up the gas, wearing down the tires, or draining the engine coolant. Each journey in your vehicle, one way or another, takes a toll on your car.

It's your responsibility to maintain the car between journeys, particularly ahead of a long trip to avoid the car experiencing issues such as reduced fuel efficiency, a breakdown, or an accident.

To help you avoid these scenarios here is an essential car checklist to work through before setting off on your road trip.

  1. Check the Tires

Depending on the make and model of the tires you have, their durability and suitability for the kind of journey you are taking will vary.

Firstly, ensure the tires are in good working order by assessing the tread depth, and whether there are any visible cuts and bulges that need addressing at the garage.

Moreover, ride your car to the nearest gas station to find out the pressure of the tires, and top them up if needed.

Due to a low tread depth, or a puncture, should the tires need replacing, if possible, avoid purchasing cheap or part-worn tires.

And instead, for increased durability and enhanced safety, plus better fuel efficiency, opt for high-quality wheels that will last and carry your car across the distance effortlessly.

  1. Check the Oils

The lubricant and lifeblood of the engine is the engine oil, which can easily be checked by;

  • Popping the hood of your car (so long as it's been stationary for a while to let the engine cool)
  • Pulling out the dipstick (usually with a bright-colored cap)
  • Wiping the stick
  • Plugging it back into the socket
  • Then withdrawing it once again to take note of the engine oil color and level.

If the oil is low on the dipstick, your car will need an oil top-up. And if the oil is black and grungy in appearance it may need an oil change.

  1. Engine Coolant

Older cars require their owners to check the engine coolant level under the hood and to top it up when it's low.

The engine coolant regulates the temperature of the engine, to keep it operating smoothly. Without it, the engine can overheat, and cause a myriad of problems.

You'll often find the coolant in the engine bay to the left of the engine, encased in a clear plastic reservoir. The min and max levels on the coolant box will help you determine whether this fluid needs topping up before you head off on your journey.

  1. Top Up Fuel

It makes sense before you begin your journey to top up the tank with fuel. In doing so you eradicate the time and anxiety of running out of gas and trying to find petrol in unfamiliar locations while you're heading towards your chosen destination.

Equally, if the car is electric or hybrid, the same applies, fully charge the vehicle before driving.

  1. Emergency Kit

Keeping an emergency kit in the trunk of the car as standard is essential, particularly on longer journeys.

Check if you have the following items in your kit before your travels;

  • Non-Perishable snacks such as cereal bars
  • Bottles of water
  • A blanket
  • Torch
  • Hazard warning triangle sign
  • Wireless phone battery charger
  • Jumpstart kit
  • A tire and fitting kit
  • First aid kit

An emergency kit is wise to have and won't take up much room in the car. Plus, you'll be thankful if there's ever an instance where you need to use it.

  1. Lights

A quick check around the car to see whether all of the lights are working will save your vehicle from becoming a hazard to other drivers and pedestrians on the road.

If a bulb has blown, with the assistance of YouTube and your make and model of your car to hand, changing the car's light bulbs is quite straightforward.

  1. Safety Check

Sometimes garages will provide a complimentary safety check to new customers. You can take advantage of this check before your journey and have a trained professional look at some of the car's components to check everything is in order before your travels.

Anything can happen over a long journey. But making the above checks, and including an emergency pack, will ensure you've taken all possible measures to prevent any car troubles from occurring.