Thursday, August 30, 2007

Car Check List Before a Long Trip

By Pauline Go

Even a small problem inside the vehicle during a long journey could make life miserable if the vehicle is not prepared prior to the journey. Listed below are some useful suggestions that can be taken as a checklist for preparing the vehicle for a long trip.

Checking the engine oil:

Most of the problems arising in the engine are due to usage of improper engine oil. It is always important to periodically examine the color and the level of the engine oil and replace it once the color turns dark.

Automatic Transmission fluid:

Another important aspect that can cause a great damage if ignored is the automatic transmission fluid. It is always better to replace the automatic transmission fluid prior to the journey. A normal transmission liquid is red in color. The color of the fluid gradually turns brown and loses its thickness under high temperature. Depending on the mileage covered by the vehicle and the speed, the oil might even turn black.

Engine antifreeze:

The antifreeze or the coolant level in the overflow tank should be between “min” and “max” levels so as to ensure a safe and comfortable ride without the engine getting heated up. Any possible leaks inside the tank are indicated by unusually low levels of the coolant. It is always better to get the tank checked for leaks from a maintenance engineer before filling up the reservoir.


Any new battery usually lasts for a period of 2-3 years. If the battery is more than 4 years old, it is better to get it replaced. Another option is to get the battery examined by a service engineer or else carry a spare one inside the car.

Other important things that need to be checked before going on a journey include the pressure in the tires, checking the brake fluid, power steering fluid, air filters, fuel level, loosened clamps, steering and suspension components, lights and windshield wipers. Certain emergency features that must be taken on a journey include a spare tire, a first-aid box, tool box, flashlight, screwdrivers, pliers, a spare headlight bulb, a bottle of engine oil and antifreeze liquid.

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