Christmas is around the corner, and I guess you are planning on q road trip for Christmas vacation. Before you hit the road there are a few tips put together to ensure that you and your car always stays fit and reliable and also to ensure your safety and comfort as well as others on the road.

1. Service your car regularly as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you find anything amiss between the service intervals, get it checked. In case you have a road-trip planned in advance, get your car serviced a couple of days before you leave – to let the changes settle down.

2. Keep an eye on all the fluids levels – engine oil, gear oil, brake fluid, windshield cleaning fluid – and get them topped up whenever needed. Also have a glance under the vehicle once in a while – you would certainly know if something is leaking and needs to be checked.

3. Keep a regular check on electricals – headlamps, tail-lamps, indicators and the horn. It is better to know where the fuse-box of your car is located. Always keep a couple spare – in case of a blow-out, it is the fuse which will be the first casualty. Also keep an eye out for any warning lights on your dashboard – especially the engine check. If it starts flashing, you have to look for the nearest service centre.

4. Keep a track of the condition of the wiper blades – a clean windshield is imperative for a safe drive. Properly clean your windshield and rear-view mirrors before starting your journey and also in between regularly.

5. A regular check of tyre pressures and tread condition (including the stepney) will help you avert punctures or tyre bursts. Do rotate your tyres as recommended to ensure their longevity. It is advised to change all tyres when you opt for new and get a uniform wear pattern for all of them. Learn to change tyres (a lot of people don’t know) and how to jack your car up to avoid getting stuck at remote locations.

6. Driving is a tiring task. Get sufficient rest before you begin. Keep yourself hydrated and take regular breaks during the journey. It is always better to have at least one back-up driver in case you need a break. If ever you feel sleepy while driving, stop immediately and freshen up. If that too doesn’t work, never take it on yourself to continue further – a small mistake may turn out to be disastrous.

7. Drive at a speed you are comfortable with and avoid speeding. You tend to get more tired when you are speeding while the actual time you save is not worth the risk. Avoid taking risky manoeuvres or overtakes, you always have a long road ahead to make a move and avoid overtaking from the left on a dual carriageway. Remember to flash and/or honk before you make a move to warn the other driver of your intentions.

Ultimately, cars are machines and they do tend to break down once a while. But if you follow these tips, the chances of remembering those journeys with all the good memories will certainly by sky high.

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