How to prepare your car for a long journey

How to prepare your car for travel

Today, during the next wave of coronavirus, it is better to choose personal transportation for a long trip or travel. Riding in public, whether trains or planes, buses or trains is not a safe idea. After all, the main source of infection is people, and the less social contact, the less risk of infection. That’s probably why domestic motorists have begun to think twice as often about traveling in their private cars.

But before going on a long journey by car, a responsible driver should know everything about the condition of his car and make preparations. First of all, diagnostics and quality maintenance are necessary, and the main attention should be paid to technical fluids, oils, brake and fuel systems, and tires. Besides, it is necessary to check the steering, suspension, and electrics.

In most cases, the engine oil and air filter should be replaced, and maybe also the coolant and brake fluid. The brake pads and discs are also worth checking thoroughly and changing if necessary. For long distance journeys in hot weather it is desirable to diagnose the auto-conditioning system and recharge the freon.

The majority of “Kolesa Darom” tire centers offer basic car diagnostics services, and the service centers of cities such as Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Togliatti, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Almetyevsk and others also have summer offers for comprehensive servicing of the fuel and brake systems at half price.

According to the results of diagnostics, many people don’t always have an opportunity to take a car in perfect condition on the road. So to get started, every driver needs to gather the optimal set of tools, parts and other accessories. We recommend going through the list below.

✅ Safety and first necessity. First aid kit, fire extinguisher, tow rope, a couple of emergency stop signs and reflective vests (preferably by the number of people). ✅ A set of tools, on which it is better not to save, as well as a universal wrench and a wheel wrench. Even if you do not know what tools are intended for, there will always be kind people on the road, but without the necessary tools.

✅ Water, fluids and fuel and lubricants. On a long journey, the engine may behave differently than in usual urban conditions, so you should have 1 liter of engine oil for refilling. In unfamiliar areas you can also turn to the wrong place and wander a few dozen kilometers, so a 5-liter canister of gasoline, especially if the brand of fuel is not the most popular, can help in the right moment. About the presence of water in the car needless to say – both people and the car consumes it all the time. It is not superfluous to have a liquid for cleaning bitumen and traces of insects on the windshield, headlights and hood. ✅ Everything for the tire. Spare tire (spare tire), jack, compressor, a couple of spare bolts, rubber repair kit (for sealing small punctures and cuts), and once again – a tire wrench. ✅ Gadgets. Radar detector, video recorder, GPS navigator. In modern conditions on the roads, you can’t do without electronic assistants. Moreover, if your car is not cheap and has complex electronics, it is recommended to have a multimaster OBD2 scanner for independent computer diagnostics of your car and reading of error codes. ✅ Spare parts. Power leads, spare alternator belt, set of fuses, spare set of spark plugs (can be used), set of headlight bulbs. ✅ Little things. Screw clamps (a pair) for the hoses of the main lines, a flashlight with spare batteries, batteries for the alarm key fob, fine-grit sandpaper, work gloves, sponges and rags. ✅ Just in case. A knife, matches, duct tape, a folding shovel, a cooler bag, a windshield sunblind, and a raincoat. Knowing motorists also recommend having pepper spray for self-defense and a bottle of vodka in the trunk as a universal means of payment (you never know what places you’ll have to pass through and who you’ll have to ask for help) .

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Much of this list can be quickly and conveniently purchased in the online store of the company “Wheels for free”, and at a bargain price. For drivers who are going on a long journey with children or large luggage, it is not out of place to refresh your knowledge on the rules of passenger and cargo transportation to avoid fines and unforeseen costs.

Remember that if the car breaks down on a long journey, the most difficult thing is to assess all the risk factors in order to make the right decision. If there is an opportunity to safely crawl to the nearest auto repair shop and there fix all the problems to continue the important trip, then you should do so.

If the breakdown is connected with the replacement of not the simplest spare parts or the service, where are able to perform such work, is not close, then you need to choose between a tow truck or continuation of independent movement (when the car can still move itself) to the place of repair. The drivers who know the structure and operation of the car can sometimes drive carefully and with the faulty car. For example, shifting gears without clutch or pouring water into radiator, observing engine temperature and regularly letting the engine cool down.

We wish you all a happy journey and don’t encounter such problems on the road!

Before a long journey. Getting ready for a road trip. Preparing the car and equipment.

What to take with you and how to prepare your car for a long road trip? This is the question everyone asks themselves when preparing for a trip. A journey of several thousand kilometers on different roads requires some autonomy and preparedness for accidents. You need maximum confidence in your car and sufficient equipment. Of course, every driver decides these issues independently, based on their own experience, so I want to tell about my preparations. Some things seem to someone unnecessary – no problem, because everyone has his own style and method of traveling by car.

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I will begin with the preparation of the car. It is necessary to check the timing of replacement of consumables – plugs, filters, oil and the like. Service interval should cover the planned mileage with some reserve. If the service life, for example, engine oil comes to an end after a couple of thousand kilometers, and we have to drive five thousand, it is better to change the oil in advance – oil change on the road will take extra time and can not always be done competently. It is also necessary to check the levels of all vehicle fluids – brake fluid, power steering, antifreeze, axles gears, gearboxes. A thorough pre-inspection of the car at a good service center will help identify beginning defects in the undercarriage of the car. It is also essential to take with you engine oil for refill – oil consumption will always be there, and at higher engine speeds this consumption increases. If the duration of the route longer than the interval of oil replacement, the filter and oil definitely take with you – where there is a road to look for the necessary … Spare set of lights and fuses also does not hurt on the road. I always take fuel and air filters with me on long trips – quality of gasoline at gas stations can deceive expectations, traffic on dusty roads greatly reduces the life of the air filter. I always install capron mesh in front of the radiator grill, otherwise the radiator can get so clogged with insects that the car starts to warm up. In summer, and even in the southern latitudes, it is quite real.

I put plastic “glasses” on the headlights – a stone can fly even on the asphalt. The presence of scars on the “glasses” is a confirmation of this, but the headlights were not damaged. Now about the equipment. Obligatory subjects – first-aid kit, fire extinguisher and warning triangle – are not discussed. First-aid kit should take into account the individual needs of the participants of the trip, in fact, first-aid kits get two – the standard (mandatory) and personal. It is better not to mix them. A tow rope and high voltage wire for “cigarette lighter,” shovel and hatchet – these things can help you and not only you but also other less experienced travelers, because on the road should help each other. A minimum set of the most necessary wrenches is desirable, well, a wrench to remove the wheel is simply a must. I certainly recommend checking the degree of tightening of wheel bolts/nuts, especially if they were tightened without using a torque wrench. An overtightened nut can cause a lot of trouble if you change a wheel on the road. I also bring a compressor and a tubeless tire repair kit. The compressor is small, only in the case of inflation tires, inflate the wheel “from scratch” they will not work, but such a problem and is not set. Speaking of wheels. The optimal, in my opinion, is to equip the machine with AT (all terrain) rubber. You can drive confidently enough on any roads, pass small sandy or waterlogged areas, small rivers and streams. Drove around Mongolia on the rubber Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S G012 never regretted that I chose it – perfectly coped with the sharp stones of the so-called roads. For more severe conditions, “full off-road,” this rubber will not go, but there and the preparation of the machine need a completely different. I have never tinted the windows on my car, for long journeys, I made curtains. The cord is stretched along the cabin over the windows, curtains cover all the side windows as needed. The same curtain is attached to the luggage door. When parked, the entire cabin can be completely covered. In the back, at the luggage door is always a couple of 5-liter flasks of water – to wash your hands, fill the tank washer. In my car – MMC Pajero 3.0L GLS 2007 model – the third row of seats is hidden in a recess. These seats are removed before the trip and in this niche put a canister of gasoline, unnecessary has never been. Be sure to have a fairly powerful flashlight, its battery is fully charged before the trip. I also need a navigator. Even in your own town you may come in handy, but in long trips in unfamiliar areas you can’t do without it. In my opinion, you should have a satellite navigation, but we shouldn’t rely on the endless spread of the Internet. Timely updated maps with self-mapped waypoints are a good help on the road. It is even desirable to have a couple of navigation systems with different types of maps and different levels of detail. The car is equipped with a video recorder and a radar detector. Permanently mounted in front on the ceiling, to the right and left of the central ceiling lamp. Low-visible from the outside, do not limit the view, not heated by the sun, “sit high and look far. Power wires are hidden under the trim. The spare SD-card makes it possible to save an interesting clip and transfer it to the computer on the way. I take an inverter with me when I travel. Of course, its power is small, only 1000 watts, but I’m not going to use electric welding or “grinder” on the road. But for the charging of phones, laptop, tablet such power is enough for good. Now clothes and shoes.

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Even in the summer, we always take a down jacket and “off-road” boots on the trip – the trip involves not only driving on the asphalt and overnight stays wherever you have to. Temperature fluctuations can be significant – during a trip to the Far East, the temperature once dropped to -3 degrees in the morning. And that in August! The car has the so-called “cool box” – cooled by the air conditioner between the front seats. But its size is not great (a few bags of juice), and the temperature there is not low enough. Therefore a bigger portable cooler is put in the car – 17 liters, working from the onboard network. In addition, this device works in two modes, both cooling and heating. To do this, simply reverse the polarity when you connect the plug. The presence of an adapter makes it possible to use this refrigerator indoors.

Not setting myself the task of mandatory full autonomy, however, always take with a gas stove and a minimum set of utensils. As canned food and sublimations are necessarily included in the list of products, it is necessary to have means for their preparation.

A sleeping place. I made it with my own hands and never once regretted the effort. There’s no hassle with overnight stays, no need to look for and book in advance, no need to hurry to get to a designated spot.

Since I try not to travel in the dark, the traffic is from dawn until dusk. If I find a hotel by this time, it’s fine, but if I don’t find one, it’s not a big deal. The bed is 180 centimeters long and 110 centimeters wide, so you can have a good rest. The only condition is to put the machine horizontally, so as not to lie upside down.

With this frame, the bed is attached by the standard rear seat lock.

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Things and groceries in small bags lie under the bed. It is better to mark the contents of several bags, because it is easier to find them and it is more convenient for the checkpoint at the border.

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