This summer we are planning our first trip since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition to getting some safety gear for the Covid-19, we take the usual safety gear, tools, spare parts and accessories that we usually carry in our pickup. Whether you plan to travel off-road – as we do – or stick to paved roads, the safety features you need to take on a summer trip are essentially the same, with a few exceptions that we’ll discuss later. .
Check your car before leaving the city
The first step you should always take to make sure your car is ready to travel or rest is to have it thoroughly checked by your mechanic. Many people are afraid to inspect their car for fear that the mechanic will “find something wrong.” It is always your choice as a customer to pay only for a basic inspection and get a second opinion on the alleged problem and have it repaired by another mechanic if necessary. Some recommended things to do with your car before traveling are the following.
Pre-trip checklist for your vehicle
Change the oil and check the fluids. Also have the mechanic check your transmission fluid, belts and air filter. Replace the cab air filter as they are often overlooked. Let the mechanic show you how to check your oil, as most cars burn a certain amount of oil on long journeys. Turn your tires (if necessary) and check the alignment of the car. Check and replace your battery if necessary. Replace the windshield wiper blades if necessary. Have your brakes checked by a mechanic. Wash your radiator and change the coolant. Repair small cracks in your windshield. Fill the windscreen washer tank. Make sure your headlights work, as well as the brakes and turn signals and the horn. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and check the tire tread. When you turn your tires, the store should be able to tell you the condition of your tires and recommend the right pressure. Have the tire compartment check your spare part and show you how to remove it. This is not easy for some new vehicles. Find the jack and tire tool on your car and learn how to use it. Watch videos on YouTube if that helps. Find the key to lock the car wheel nut. This unlocks one of the nuts on each of your wheels. Without it you can not change the apartment, even if you have all the other tools you need.
What’s in our travel tool kit and delivery kit?
We are not die-hard off-road enthusiasts, but we still carry many of the same things that these people do, even if we tend to stick to the gentler unpaved roads. Here’s what we carry in our four-wheel drive Ford F-150:
Tool set with pliers, electrical tape, screwdrivers, set of sockets, jumper cables, torches on the road (we use LED), flashlight, empty gas box of one gallon, 12 volt air compressor, two boxes of tire seal *, set of tire stopper, air pressure gauge, wrenches, wire, super glue Heavy jack and tire tool. Spare fan belt – universal belt Additional gallon coolant Additional wiper fluid Front window cleaning squeegee Large hose clamps for radiator hose repair Several spare wheel nuts for wheel rims Two regenerative traction plates to unlock Extra water injector to clean the space blanket Two extra liters of engine oil Tape
* Use only canned tire sealant such as Fix-a-Flat only if absolutely necessary. If you use it, the electronic tire pressure monitors on your car’s TPMS – located in the valve stem of each tire – will be damaged and very expensive to replace.
(There are some more items I’m sure I’ve forgotten, and I’ll review this while determining what they are.)
Other elements of the vehicle that you should check before leaving the city during your trip
Here are some things to do after checking your car for your trip and assembling your emergency car tool kit.
Make sure your labels and registration information are up to date and that you have proof of insurance cards in the glove box. Make sure your driver’s license has not expired. Make sure your tank is full. Clean your windshield. Let your mobile phone charge and be ready for use and bring a rechargeable battery if your car battery runs out. Get a spare charging cable for your phone. Bring a spare key that you hold to your man. Get water and snacks. Get a good rest and leave early in the day to avoid driving in the dark. Have a map or atlas on the road in case you don’t have a cell phone signal to use Google maps. Download useful travel apps to your phone. Wayze is good for helping to avoid traffic and traffic jams. Download your insurance company’s app to access to help if needed. If they do not offer a travel service plan, add one from AAA or another provider. Some credit cards offer travel service as an advantage, so call customer service and find out if they do. Get an extra cell phone that will turn on. (See below.) Collect $ 20 in cash (or more) in a secret hiding place in the car. Remove all items from your car that may not be legal in the country you are visiting. You know, those things that are legal in Colorado, but not in Texas, and so on.
How to use an old cell phone in an emergency
Did you know that even old phones that don’t have a SIM card or even a subscription plan can still work to dial 911 and call for help in an emergency? The law is that phones in the United States should still be able to call 911, even if they are not registered with a mobile phone service provider. Do not use an inactive cell phone to call 911 unless it is a matter of life and death, otherwise you may have problems with the law.
Check after traveling after your vehicle
After driving a few miles on your summer trip and returning home, it may be time for things like a new oil change, topping up the coolant, or turning the tire.
Before your warrior road machine becomes your daily driver again, it is really a good practice to check it once again by your mechanic after a trip. Desert heat, mountain driving, salt air and a host of other conditions that your vehicle may encounter while on holiday can provide a lot of training.
My experience with this article
I worked for many years in agriculture and heavy industry and owned a number of off-road vehicles, including a Jeep Rubicon, a Ford F-150, a Toyota Tacoma and several Chevy Silverados (all four-wheel drive), all of which required some degree. of constant repair and maintenance. My wife and I lived in British Columbia, Texas and Colorado and spent a lot of time off-road in these areas, each with its own unique challenging conditions for cars and trucks.
If you know of any travel safety items that should be included in the article, please contact us. Just subscribe to the blog and send us a direct message.