We are then preparing a trip by car. We have already decided whether we are going to travel alone or together, we have been preparing travel plans and we have discovered what documents to take. It’s time to know what care to take to prepare the car for the trip.
There are many people who have some fear of taking the car to great trips, especially if this already has many kilometers. In fact, driving long distances on the road is better for the automobile than driving on a day-to-day basis in large cities. Because the speed is more constant, this type of driving is less demanding for mechanical organs like the engine, the clutch, the gearbox, etc.
In any case, before embarking on a trip, it is absolutely essential that you make some checks so as not to risk standing in a distant country without knowing what to do and regretting not having prepared everything in advance. So it’s best to start early.
Two to four weeks before leaving
- See, in the book of revisions, when it’s the next scheduled review. If you are only a few kilometers away, consider making it earlier, to travel more quietly. Also check how many kilometers you need to change important wear parts, such as the air filter or timing belt. Before my big trip ( Europe travel ) I replaced the latter, although there were still 10,000 kilometers to go.
- If you still have a lot of time left for the next review, you can check the car at the brand’s garage (there are many that occasionally do it for free), in some large chain stores (such as Midas, which also does it for free). , for example, you are a member of the ACP or you have the Youth Card) or your reliable mechanic.
- It is important that either of the two points mentioned above be treated with such 2 to 4 weeks in advance, so as to be able to confirm whether any repairs made and replaced parts allow the car to operate in the best conditions.
- If you go to an area with a very hot or very cold climate make sure you have the correct mixture of water and antifreeze. If you think you need to replace the radiator, do so now.
- Check the tires.
- The legal minimum tread depth of the tires is 1.6 mm but it is always wise to do much more than that for safety reasons. At a speed reduction from 80 km / h to 0 a car equipped with 8 mm track tires has a braking distance of 43 meters. The same car with tires with a track of less than 1.6 mm can get to take 73 meters to stop completely. Now imagine if it is faster or wet and slippery … Also, see if the tire wear is uniform. If you are spending more than one side than another, you should have them calibrated and / or aligned. It is not worth risking because, do not forget, it will do many kilometers that will wear out your tires too. If you can investigate and do as I do when traveling by car to Andorra(on departure for the trip through Europe) I took the opportunity to spend in Spain and buy a cheaper set of tires.
- The tire pressure is also very important because, if insufficient, the car will consume more fuel (see fuel prices ) and security may be compromised. See the instruction manual (or in some cases on the door or inside the fuel tank cap) what is the recommended pressure for your car for the weight you intend to take. Preferably, check the pressure at a tire shop and not at a service station because the tire’s equipment is often unbalanced. Always do this with your tires cool.
- The above recommendations also apply to the spare tire. See if you are fit and have the right pressure. Make sure you have the keys, the jack and (if applicable) the safety nut adapter.
- Make sure you have the car manual in the glove compartment or the pockets behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats. If the manual has disappeared it is a good idea to consider asking for a new one or to print the .pdf version that some manufacturers make available on their websites.
- Check the validity dates of the car documents : Single Car Document (DUA) or booklet and registration of property. It is essential that you have the insurance up to date and that it covers the countries where you plan to travel. To know this is enough to see the back of the green card. If you are planning to enter an uncovered country, simply pay your insurance company an extension of coverage for the days in question. In principle, you can also make temporary insurance on the border of that country. That’s what I did the two times I’ve been to Morocco. Preferably, make copies of all documentation in case your car is stolen and place them in a location other than the originals (these should be in your wallet rather than in the car itself). Read more about this in my post on documents necessary to travel.