With Hari Raya Aidiladha coming up and interstate travel made possible again, going back to our hometown or taking a short blissful holiday with your family and loved ones is something exciting to look forward to. But before you start your journey to Balik Kampung or your much-anticipated road trip, here are a few tips to prepare yourself for a long drive on the road:
Maintain your vehicle regularly
While regular servicing helps improve your safety and others on the road, it also saves you from the preventable excessive repair cost. Therefore, it’s important to send your vehicle in for maintenance based on the stipulated time set by your mechanic. Be sure to maintain these parts of your car to ensure that it is in good condition before going for a long drive.
- Check both the internal and external parts of the engine.
- Change the battery every 3-5 years and wiper blades every 6-12 months.
- Inspect vehicle oil and coolant fluids regularly and keep them at optimum levels.
- Ensure that the cooling system and radiator are regularly cleaned.
Check the air pressure in your tyre
Always check your vehicle’s tyre pressure before heading out on a long trip or when carrying extra load. Improper inflation pressure on your vehicle’s tyres can be dangerous and may cause tyre damage. Additionally, it will also affect the handling of your vehicle and its fuel efficiency. It’s also good to take a couple of minutes before your trip to thoroughly inspect for any cuts, cracked splits or bruises in the tread and sidewall area of the tyres. Don’t forget to also check your spare tyre (if you don’t have one, this would be a good time to invest in one) and ensure that it’s well-kept and regularly maintained in case you need it.
Prepare for a flat tyre (just in case)
Changing a flat tyre is not as difficult as you think, and it is definitely a skill that every driver should be familiar with. Additionally, it’s always a safe idea to be equipped with a tyre changing tool kit. You wouldn’t want to be stranded on a highway with a flat tyre and no tools. Here are some of the things that should be in your tyre changing tool kit:
- A spare tyre
- A jack
- A wheel wrench with extension bar
- A locking wheel-nut adapter (if appropriate)
- A good pair of gloves like the 3M™ Comfort Grip Gloves that offers protection and dexterity.
Prevent rust buildup
For a smooth journey, you’d want to ensure your vehicle is working efficiently. Rust buildups can ruin both, the interior and exterior of your car. Significant corrosions in the engine or the brake mechanism, for instance, can cause a damaging problem.
Although most of us often mistakenly think that rust damages aren’t repairable, it’s actually a myth. Using a product with dehumidification and anti-corrosion properties like the 3M™ Anti-Rust Lubricant AR-100 can help clean, lubricate and protect your car from rust. Additionally, the product’s close to neutral pH level of 7.1 will not damage the metal surfaces in your car. All you have to do is shake it well and spray directly and generously to cover the corroded areas.
In a tropical country like Malaysia, we experience hot weather all year round. Driving in the heat can be an uncomfortable experience, especially when you are driving a long distance. Stay cool and comfortable if your journey on the road will be exceeding two hours. Wear loose clothing with a breathable fabric. If you are driving out on a sunny day and are worried about getting a sunburn, protect your arms with 3M™ Cool Arm Sleeves which utilizes aqua-X technology, the world’s first cool-to-touch functional fibre. It’s designed to help your arms feel cooler immediately upon wearing it and offers SPF 50+, which protects you from UVB rays. This product also features seamless soft banding which minimizes chafing with skin and prevents it from slipping while providing a comfortable fit.
Take frequent breaks
Driving takes a lot of concentration. Being in the car for hours on end can be really tiring so, the best thing to do is to take breaks regularly. Especially if you’re driving alone, it’s advisable to stop for at least 15-20 minutes every couple of hours and stretch your back and legs to avoid your muscles from getting fatigued. A few minutes of light stretching will also make you feel rejuvenated for the journey ahead. Use the break to also refuel with a light snack and beverage, top up your Touch n’ go card, adjust your GPS and run a quick car check to ensure that everything is working smoothly.
Watch out for road hazards and drive responsibly
Lastly, keep your eyes peeled and watch out for any road hazards. With access to technology and a powerful satellite system, we are now privy to live traffic and roadblock updates. If the road ahead reports of hazards, wait it out at an R&R rather than being stuck for long hours on the road. Also, remember to drive socially by keeping well under the speed limit and following high-way rules so that you and everyone around can have a safe and happy journey.
Road trips are always fun but, we also should not forget to stay safe and be prepared on the road. Wishing you a safe journey ahead for your next road trip.