Essential Car Maintenance Before a Long Road Trip

Last updated on February 28, 2024

Suppose you are going on a long trip by car, several thousand kilometers – to the mountains, to the sea, or just to see beautiful cities. The answer is that everything is fine with your rented car and nothing needs to be done is unsuitable. Any car requires attention, especially before long trips with the family.

In this article, we will talk about what you need to do before going on a trip.

Check Tire Condition and Wheel Balancing

Check Tire Condition and Wheel Balancing

Driving on worn tires and unbalanced wheels is uncomfortable and dangerous. Old, worn tires impair handling and increase the likelihood of skidding. Imagine what will happen if you find yourself on a mountain serpentine road in a rainstorm, then it will be tough to cope with the road.

The minimum permissible tread height for passenger cars is 1.6 mm. And there is no need to invent measuring instruments: all modern tires have wear indicators. Just keep an eye on them and change your tires when wear approaches critical levels.

The tire condition is important if you are going somewhere far away or to places where operation may be difficult – for example, in very hot countries like the UAE. Although by far the easiest way to travel there is to rent a car, which will already be in perfect condition. To do this, it is better to check cars at Firstly, Al Quoz is very close to all attractions, and secondly, you can rent literally any car you want from the Renty company.

By the way, do you know what pressure should be in the tires of your rented car? The correct values are indicated in the owner’s manual, on the back of the fuel filler flap, or in the door opening on the B-pillar. Before a long journey, be sure to bring the pressure to the required level and check it after parking.

Wash the Car

It would be a good idea to thoroughly wash the outside and clean the inside: throw out all the trash and vacuum the interior. The rented car will be already washed. And the less dust, the easier it is to breathe and the lower physical stress. By the way, if you are traveling with passengers, they will be grateful for such concern for comfort. And this will help on a long journey.

Determine What Needs to Be Replaced

Determine What Needs to Be Replaced
  • The reservoir needs to be filled with a windshield wiper, which will clean your windshield of dirt and broken insects. It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving a Mercedes GLE or an Opel Astra.
  • Replace worn wiper blades. In the summer you have to drive in bright sunshine, which makes the coating on the windows more noticeable. And poor visibility does not have the best effect on traffic safety. Once you replace your wipers, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of doing it sooner. The costs are low, and the ride will be much more convenient (and safer).
  • Check the headlights and flashlights in all modes. If any bulb burns out, replace it. Or remember what needs to be replaced so that you can ask the experts who will do the maintenance of your car about it.

Check the Cooling System

Pay attention to the coolant level and temperature gauge. The level should be normal, between the Min and Max marks, and the radiator fan(s) must work properly.

To make your trip with your family perfect, you need to take care of safety and convenience, including cleaning the radiator. However, it must be done so that the delicate honeycombs of the radiator will not be damaged or crushed by a jet of water under high pressure.

By the way, how does your air conditioning/climate control system work? Before a big trip, it is worth checking the efficiency and eliminating any leaks. And then you won’t have to languish in the heat in some traffic jam. And they, as you know, are unpredictable.

Make Sure the Braking System Is Normal

Don’t delay replacing brake pads and discs. Who knows how stressed the braking system will be on this trip? Look into the brake fluid reservoir. It should be transparent, not black/brown. The liquid may become cloudy due to its hygroscopicity.

Replacement is required on average once every one and a half to two years, every 30,000–40,000 km. Of course, the service center you choose to service your car will probably have engine oil to replace.

Regardless of whether you are preparing your car for a trip or renting a car from specialized services, you should always make sure that everything is ready for a long trip. This way you will protect yourself and not spend extra money on unexpected breakdowns.

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