Auto Makers Urge Motorists to Check Vehicles Before Road Trips

By: Correy Putton

The Northern Hemisphere is now beginning to experience warm weather and during this time of the year, most families are looking to go on road trips. This means that their cars will be traveling a lot of miles during the warmer seasons.

Traveling for extended distances poses a challenge to a vehicle and during this time of the year, car makers are advising motorists to have their cars checked before heading out on a road trip. Auto experts maintained that this step is necessary to avoid car failure which can ruin a road trip. This is also an effort to reduce the amount of traffic accidents caused by inadequate vehicle maintenance.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) pointed out that over 2,600 fatalities are recorded as a result of traffic accidents caused by insufficient vehicle maintenance.

Safety experts advised motorists to check their car batteries since it is one of the most overlooked causes of car malfunctions. In checking a car's battery, one should check the fluid level. While the majority of car batteries used on modern vehicles are maintenance free and do not need top up of battery fluid, there are still batteries that require this. If the car battery's fluid level registers low, simply remove the caps from the battery's top and fill it with distilled or deionised water.

Car makers also advise motorists to have their batteries' load checked if they are already more than three years old. Older batteries may require changing and this is necessary to avoid breakdowns. The batteries should also be cleaned including the terminals to make sure that it will not be prone to short circuits or reduction in the power it provides. The battery is an important component of a car and should be taken care of just like how motorists take care of their engine with the use of .

Another area of the vehicle that should be checked properly before embarking on extended trips is the tire. Motorists should check if each of the tire's tread is not too worn out. Proper inflation should also be observed on all tires including the spare. Under inflation can cause a blowout and since this happens on high-speed driving, the risk of being involved in a crash is huge.

A blowout happens when a car's tire is under inflated, the excessive traction between the under inflated tire and the road can produce high amount of heat which can melt the tire's body cord which will result to an explosive loss of air and the risk of loosing control of the vehicle.

In cases of flat tires and the spare tire is used, motorists should keep in mind that these tires are not made for driving over long distances since they are made smaller than normal tires. This means that if one needs to use the spare tire, he or she must replace it with a full-size tire as soon as possible.

Motorists should also check if all automotive fluids are at the right level. Brake and clutch fluids are of utmost importance and should be checked. Engine oil should be checked as well as the engine coolant.

Finally, car experts suggest that motorists should have their vehicles undergo lube, oil, and filter change before running extended distances.

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