On vacation by car: how to prepare a car for a long trip
Midsummer is the best time to travel the whole family. A car trip gives a feeling of freedom: you can choose any direction, discover unknown roads and amazing places. However, it must be remembered that during such a vacation the car is often subjected to much greater loads than usual.
In order to feel calm and fully enjoy the ride, check the condition of your car and tires before you drive. Saving on maintenance before a long journey can have very unpleasant consequences. Waiting for help on the track and repairs, as a rule, take a lot of time and money, especially if a sudden breakdown happened abroad.
Before the trip, the scheduled service of the vehicle includes changing the engine oil and filter, as well as checking the most important components and systems. This also includes checking the condition of the tires. According to the SDA, the minimum tread depth of summer tires is 1.6 mm. However, it must be understood that worn tires are unsafe. With a residual tread depth below 4 mm, the likelihood of aquaplaning will increase dramatically. In summer, unexpected thunderstorms are a fairly common occurrence. It is therefore unreasonable to jeopardize the safety of the family using worn tires..
Studless winter tires – not for summer
Non-studded winter tires are a poor choice for summer roads. The tread of such tires is made of a softer rubber compound, designed for winter weather, which means that they are inferior to summer tires on wet surfaces. Tests show that on wet roads the braking distance of studless winter tires is 20% longer than that of summer tires. The softer the rubber compound, the less stable it is, and this can cause the loaded vehicle to swing during an emergency rebuild or sudden turn.
Remember to increase tire pressure
After servicing the car, be sure to check the tire pressure before setting off on a journey. The tire pressure of a loaded car should be 10-15% higher than recommended by the manufacturer. Directions for this can be found in the vehicle manual. For example, if the recommended level is 2.5 bar, add 0.25-0.40 bar. Check the pressure in cold tires. And after the holidays, do not forget to lower it to normal levels.
Tips for a safe car trip
Check the condition of the tires and the residual depth of their tread: for safe driving, it must be at least 4 mm.
Check tire pressure. If the car is heavily loaded, increase the pressure. Make sure the spare tire is OK..
Regardless of the type of drive you drive (front, rear or full), always install the best tires on the rear axle.
Check engine oil, coolant, power steering, brake fluid, and washer fluid.
Check car ignition system.
Bring a warning triangle, a reflective vest, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and tools for replacing and temporarily repairing tires.
Place heavy objects on the bottom of the trunk.
Do not fasten heavy objects on the roof rack as this will affect the center of gravity of the vehicle..
Take automotive oil and coolant, fuses, and car operating instructions on the road.
Keep a safe distance with other vehicles.
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