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    Thread: Preparing Your Car For a Long Drive

    1. #1
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      Anwar's Avatar
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      Preparing Your Car For a Long Drive

      Just got a call from my friend who went on a long drive with his family and is currently in a workshop as his car gave some trouble on the way.

      Thought if we have a list of items that can be checked in advance, it would be helpful.

      Here are my few cents...


      • Check Wiper Fluid


      • Check Engine Coolant


      • Check Brake Fluid


      • Check Power steering fluid


      • Check the Oil filter


      • Check Engine Oil


      • Check Battery


      • Check Wiper blades for wear and tear


      • Inspect the Belts & hoses


      • Check for power Steering malfunction


      • Check Tire Pressure, 4 + Spare Tire. (If you are on Tubeless tires, Inspect the tires and make sure there are no nails in the tubeless tires. I am still running with a nail on one of my tires for the past 3 months )


      • Fill up your car with a full tank


      • Clean your Windshield and Mirrors


      • Check the headlights, brake lights, indicators,fog lamps making sure they operate properly


      • Check the AC to see that it is working and cooling the vehicle down in a reasonable time.Also check the defogging system


      • Check the vehicle brakes



      We have plenty of our members who go on long drives very often and they can advice from their experiences.
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    2. #2
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      thanks for this list.
      most of us generally ignore the finer aspects like these.
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      Check tyres for any cuts or unusual wear-outs
      Get wheels aligned
      Check underbody for any visible oil leaks
      Check clutch oil level
      H V Kumar

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      Always carry a spare car key in your wallet. Recently, I nearly lost my car key @ Mahabalipuram beach. We were lucky to find the key. If I hadn't found the key, I shudder to think what would have happened that night.

      Also, if you have tubless tyres, always make it a point to carry a tubeless puncture repair kit. Might come in handy and most small places will never have them.

      Also, I always carry a tool kit that has a few standard size spanners, screw driver, cutting plier.

      Also make sure you have a stock of fuses. Keep replacing the blown fuses with fresh stock always.

      I always keep an extra pair of headlamp bulbs in the car always.

      Another thing I learnt from my own experiences.

      Always carry some cash. Once on my way to Munnar 2yrs back I didn't have any cash on me. Had two debit cards. Filled up fuel at the BP petrol pump @ A2B. Card didn't work. But I had already filled up fuel. Had to take the fuel pump attendant to Shoolagiri, draw cash from the ATM and go back to the petrol pump. I usually don't prefer carrying lots of cash on long drives, but since then I do make it a point to carry some cash in my wallet.
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      Always, always get your vehicle serviced at scheduled intervals at the ASC. Everytime I leave my vehicles for service, I tell the ASC gents I'm going on a long drive the next day - if there are any problems enroute, they've had it - that usually prompts them to do a better job.

      I always ensure my vehicles are serviced on time and any issues between services are attended to immediately. Thanks to this practice, I have the luxury of 2 vehicles permanently highway-ready - all I do before a(ny) drive is fill fuel and top up windshield washer water.
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      Never take the car for a long drive immediately after service. Get it serviced at-least a week before the drive so that any small issues that might crop up during service (usually they do) are taken care.

      Unscrew and tighten the wheel nuts yourself. The puncture repair guys and wheel alignment guys tend to over-tighten the screws and you don't want to get stranded on the highway with a flat tyre which you are not able to remove.

      I also carry a wind-up torch and a pair of jumper cables.

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by jaguar View Post
      Never take the car for a long drive immediately after service. Get it serviced at-least a week before the drive so that any small issues that might crop up during service (usually they do) are taken care.

      Unscrew and tighten the wheel nuts yourself. The puncture repair guys and wheel alignment guys tend to over-tighten the screws and you don't want to get stranded on the highway with a flat tyre which you are not able to remove.

      I also carry a wind-up torch and a pair of jumper cables.
      Excellent advice. especially the part about not taking the car on a long drive straight out of a service.
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      I look like an ignorant fool now. all i do on my long drives is:

      1) fill up fuel
      2) fill up wiper fluid.
      3) check tyres.spare wheel included.
      4) check wipers.
      5) tools? i only have wheel spanner and jack and jack rod. thats it.

      while in the US, if i get a breakdown, I'll have my insurance guys provide roadside assistance but after i get back, i'll get back to this list

      thanks a ton for all this info.
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      Quote Originally Posted by jaguar View Post
      Never take the car for a long drive immediately after service. Get it serviced at-least a week before the drive so that any small issues that might crop up during service (usually they do) are taken care.
      Quote Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post
      Excellent advice. especially the part about not taking the car on a long drive straight out of a service.
      I'm sorry but I don't subscribe to this. I have done this umpteen number of times without any issues. And like I said, I always tell the ASC chaps that I'm heading out the next day so don't screw up!
      Feb 1997 Bajaj KB125 RTZ 49K km
      Mar 2003 Tata Indica V2 LSi 130K km
      Jan 2007 Tata Safari 3.0 DiCOR EX 4x4 200K km

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      Another thing which works for us delhiites - dust the air filter. I live in, and work nearby massive construction sites.

      Cleaning up the airfilter has a positive effect, even if its a placebo

      @Rahul - +1 on the cash. I was driving to Munsyari in April and had forgotten the same. Luckily, came across the last ATM at Berinag at just the right time - there was none in a 100km radius !!
      Last edited by hitanshu; 20th Jun 2010 at 23:00.
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