CIf you love your car, then you might find yourself cringing somewhat when you prepare to go on a long journey. While cars pick up wear and tear at the best of times, long journeys can be very bad for them as you place them under more of a strain, as you increase the probability of something going wrong, and as you drive in areas that you are less familiar with and so are more likely to have accidents.
But long journeys don’t have to spell doom for your baby. As long as you are careful and you plan ahead, there are many things you can do to make long journeys better on your vehicles. Read on to find out how you can go about doing that.
Before You Leave
The biggest factors in determining how your vehicle survives a long journey will happen before you have even left. Before you set off, make sure that your car has enough fuel, that it has enough water and oil and that the tires are well pumped up. If you don’t keep the tires filled with air, then your car will essentially have less suspension and you will find it is more likely to get damaged from being jolted around as you go over bumps.
If you haven’t had your car checked over for a while, then you may want to get it more thoroughly looked over. For instance you might find that your shocks need replacing and this is something that you should definitely do before you set off on a long journey. Of course if you are constantly travelling across the country and your car is just a regular run-around, then you won’t want to take it in to be serviced every time. But if this is a particularly long journey or you think your car particularly needs it, then getting a professional (even a friend) to give it a once over can help you to prevent catastrophe.
On the Journey
On the journey you can also help your car to better survive the ordeal. This means making sure that you are gentle with it and that you don’t drive too furiously on uneven roads. It’s rushing down gravel tracks that will scratch your windows and cover your car’s body in bugs, and it’s hitting potholes at a rate of knots that will damage your suspension or your exhaust.
Choosing the right routes here can make a difference too. If you have two options and one is a little longer but means you avoid that gravel track or country lane, then it will be much better for your car in the long run.
Also important of course is to try and avoid accidents. This is something you should always be doing anyway, but on a long journey it is especially important to be vigilant as you may be getting tired and may be in a hurry to get to your destination. Make sure that you take regular breaks when your body tells you you need to, make sure that you don’t break the speed limit and make sure that you can see clearly and know where you’re going.
One of the simplest ways to look after your car is to hang back more from the car in front. Not only could this help to avoid an accident if they were to suddenly hit the brakes, but it will also mean that you get less dust and dirt thrown up in your windshield as they drive through puddles and across gravel.
When you have finished your long journey the first thing to do is to ensure that your car is parked somewhere safe. When you’re away from home it may be hard to find off road parking, but it’s worth it if you can afford it. At least try to find a less busy area and take a look to see if there’s anywhere under shelter.
And when you get home, make sure to clean your car up and give it a once over. If you do this immediately then you can catch any problems early and avoid rust setting in or a flat tyre going unnoticed.