Generally speaking, long drives will not damage your car. However, your auto wears off with every mileage it accumulates. If you’re not diligent in maintenance, then it may not even take a long road trip for your engine to start sputtering.
On the other hand, your car should be okay with frequent road trips if you’re never short on maintenance. Still, it pays to be meticulous before every drive. You may encounter a series of problems when you mindlessly drive off without thoroughly inspecting your auto first.
Never fret, though, because even if long drives wear off your car, it’s still beneficial both for you and your auto. Here are the reasons and some pointers to prep your car for an epic road trip:
Reasons to Go on a Road Trip
1. It will give your car a breath of relief.
If you often drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic, your car can feel strained and suffocated, just like you do when you’re just itching to step the on accelerator hard, but you can’t. Thus, taking your car to a decongested highway will give it the relief it needs, clearing its engines, exhaust, and every part that has carbon buildup. Not to mention, consume fuel more efficiently.
2. It will clear your mind.
Long drives rid your car of toxins while clearing your mind simultaneously. If your muscles and joints have been feeling stiff due to the countless hours you spend in traffic, then your car is definitely suffering the same tension. Give it and yourself a break by driving around a less busy road.
3. It will improve your driving skills.
Driving on an interstate highway means you’ll encounter interchanges, several intersections, crossings, and the like. It takes skill to nail those, but what’s a better practice than actually exposing yourself to it? Just bring a more experienced driver with you if you’re not totally confident in your skills yet. After all, your safety is still a priority, and driving long distances isn’t worth the risk if you’re inexperienced. But it’s an amazing opportunity to hone your skills all the same, with the bonus of being uninterrupted by bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Should Your Car Rest Along the Way?
Now that we’ve established that long-distance drives are generally safe, you might be wondering whether your car needs to rest in between hours on the road. It’s a question often asked by drivers going on a long road trip for the first time.
By nature, cars do not need rest when reaching a specific destination. But since drivers and passengers can’t skip rest stops, many car-owners have assumed that resting the engine is required. In actuality, though, the only time an engine needs to “rest” is when refueling.
But there’s an exception to this rule. In hot weather, giving the engine a break is usually needed so that it’ll cool down. You can check your engine’s temperature from your car’s dashboard; it’ll tell you when a cooling down period is necessary. Rest is also essential if your car is an old one with a faulty engine.
How to Prep Your Car for a Long Drive
Preparing your auto for a road trip is a lot of work. Here’s a shortened step-by-step guide to help you get started:
- Clean your car inside out. If you don’t think your grimy car smells awful yet, your friends probably do. Give your car a much-needed spa before any road trip.
- Inspect the interiors. Are the cup holders working? Does the storage need emptying? Ensure that every part of the interior is functioning, especially your navigation systems and power adapters, which are handy for electronics that’ll lose power along the way.
- Keep up with general maintenance. Ensure that the brake pads aren’t worn off yet. Examine the air filters too, and replace them when needed. Test all the lights, as well.
- Test the tires. An exploding tire can cause a catastrophic disaster, so ensure that all your wheels are fit for a long drive. Supply them with the proper amount of pressure, and swap the tires’ placements periodically to allow them to wear off evenly. Most importantly, replace those that have failed the penny test.
- Check fluids. You might need an oil change or a system flush. Fluid changes are necessary for every specific mileage reached, so refer to your auto’s user manual.
- Check your engine for damage. If your car ticks, leaks oil, misfires, or refuses to turn over, chances are you’re dealing with a broken timing belt. This auto component is usually found in cars and SUVs with smaller displacement engines, such as Subarus. So if you own one, avail of a Subaru timing belt service.
With your car all set for a road trip, you’d experience a smooth, long drive, your worries taken away and all. Learn what your dashboard lights are telling you as well so that you’d avoid trouble or unnecessary panicking.