Road trips are becoming a trend. People go on long drives with their families in their vehicles.
Are Road Trips Bad For Cars? Frequent road trips are bad for your car. You can go on a road trip in the car but prepare it before starting your journey. Check the performance of the engine, refill the engine oil, and inflate the tires. Check the coolant level of the radiator, clean up the air filter, and refill the brake fluid. Check the turn signals and warning lights before starting the vehicle. You can drive for 8 to 9 hours continuously and should stop every 2 to 3 hours to take a rest. Do not drive a new car on a road trip before allowing it a break-in period of 1000 to 1200 miles.
Things to consider before going on a road trip
You can go on a road trip in your car, but you have to make some preparation. Before starting your journey, ensure your vehicle is in proper working condition.
Check the engine oil
The vehicle engine is the most important thing to check before starting a journey. If it makes any strange noise or fluid leaks from its parts, get it serviced by a mechanic.
Engine oil is crucial for its better performance. It plays an essential role in lubricating the engine components and helps them move smoothly.
Check the oil level; if it is too low, refill the vehicle tank. For example, replace the engine oil with a good-quality high viscosity oil when traveling in summer.
On average, a car needs to refill its fuel every 10000 miles to work continuously. But ensure to check the fluid level every 5000 to 8000 miles to avoid any trouble during the journey.
Check the batteries
Batteries are essential to turn on all-electric appliances. On average, you should replace the battery after 2 to 4 years. If your car is old, get the battery replaced before starting your journey.
Check the battery’s connectors and Clean up all the dirt and filth from it. Clean the corroded connectors and electrodes present in it. Ensure the cables are attached correctly.
Inspect the tires
Inspect the tires properly to drive smoothly on your road trip. They are more vulnerable to damage because they are exposed to the outside environment.
Check the tire pressure when you are not driving. It should be within limits specified by the manufacturer.
Inflate the tires if the air pressure is low. During your journey, keep checking them every 800 to 1000 miles.
The wheel rotation configuration is crucial for proper rotation of the wheels. The exact rotation pattern of the tires is mentioned in the manual.
Check it to minimize wear and tear of the tires on the roads. For emergencies, keep an extra tire with you before going on a road trip.
Check the radiator
Continuously driving can cause overheating in the engine and other vehicle parts. The radiator should be in working condition to prevent this issue.
First, check the coolant level of the radiator. When the vehicle is idle open the radiator cap and check the coolant level.
Do not open it if the engine is hot. If the coolant level is low, refill it. It regulates the temperature within range and provides heat in cold weather.
Check air filter
Air filters prevent the entry of any dirt, debris, and insect into the engine. In addition, these parts ensure the entry of a pure mixture of fuel and air into the combustion chamber.
Inspect it carefully before starting the road trip. In case of clogged filters, remove and clean them thoroughly. They require higher maintenance because they are exposed to filthy air on roads.
When you see black smoke coming from the exhaust system, you should get it serviced by the mechanic.
On average, change the air filter after 3 to 4 years. If you have not changed it for 3 years, replace it before starting your trip to avoid any trouble.
Inspect the brakes and lights
You should also check the working of the braking system because any fault in it will affect your driving.
Check the brake pedals by pressing them with your foot. Sagging or spongy brake pedals indicate low brake fluid.
Refill the fluid before starting the trip. Consult with an expert if you should replace the brake pedals.
You should also check all warning lights for smooth driving on roads. Especially headlights, engine lights, and tire pressure lights are essential when driving for a long time.
Dim or fuse headlights will cause a problem during the night on roads. Also, brake and ABS sensor lights should be in good condition to warn about malfunctioning of brakes on the road.
Check the turn signals
Turn signals are necessary when driving a vehicle on a busy road. It helps you to prevent any unnecessary collision or accident with other automobiles.
However, you will not be able to communicate your direction to other vehicles. Check the fuse of the flashing lights.
Replace the worn-out fuse of these lights to use them on your way. Also, inspect the wiring of these signals and their attachment to the power source.
You should also take a short drive and check all the four turn signals to ensure their proper working.
Will going on a road trip damage my car?
It is just like machines, and every machine suffers from wear and tear over prolonged use. Driving it on the road for a long time will not damage it.
Every vehicle wears off with each mile it travels on the road. But with proper maintenance, you can prevent the damage.
Some experts say that long road trips are better than short trips. This is because short trips cause more wear and tear to it.
Because it is exposed to open air on the road and the engine works continuously at the same temperature.
There are lesser chances of damage from the dirt and pollution like on crowded streets and highways.
Is it bad to drive a new car long distances?
Yes, it is bad to drive a new car long distances. You should not drive it for an extended period until the break-in period is over.
It is because the components of the new vehicle, like a gear, wheel, and engine, are not lubricated. In addition, each vehicle has a specific break-in period to avoid wear and tear.
You should read the manual to get knowledge about it. On average, you should allow your vehicle a break-in period of 1000 to 1200 miles.
Then, take short trips on your new vehicle to lubricate all its parts.
How many kilometers we can drive a car continuously?
It can run continuously, as long as it has fuel in the tank. It depends upon the fuel capacity of the tank.
A car with a full tank can run for about 500 to 600 km. You can drive for 8 to 9 hours continuously on the road. If it is well maintained, you can drive it for over 12 hours.
It only stops when the fuel tank needs a refill. However, accelerating or frequently pressing the brakes can damage the performance of the engine and braking system.
How often should you let your car rest on a road trip?
Many people do not get tired and can run without any issues. However, the driver needs to rest while driving on the road for a long time.
It is better to stop at least every 2 to 3hours while driving. You can drive better when you stop to take short breaks.
If the engine overheats, give it a rest for 20 to 15 minutes to let it cool down. Then, monitor the temperature during driving to prevent overheating.
Some experts say it is wise to stop for 5 to 10 minutes after every 3 hours to let the engine rest.