Five tips on how to prepare your car for a long trip

Summer is approaching, so it’s time to travel. Recently, more and more Latvians prefer to travel by car – whether it is a short weekend in a neighboring country or a whole trip. The main thing – not to disappoint the vehicle, because to repair the car while driving – is a real headache.

Brakes: better than less. When preparing for a long trip, it is best to perform car diagnostics, but we are all realistic and understand that car trips are sometimes spontaneous, and few people want to invest time and money in full vehicle diagnostics. But there are things that are dangerous to give up, so I definitely recommend checking at least the brakes. If the brake pads are found to be 70% or more worn, they must be replaced. Of course, this does not apply to trips to neighboring countries – Lithuania or Estonia, but if you are going to go somewhere further, you must do so.

Battery and generator: No one wants to be “stuck” on the edge of the world. Problems with car charging and batteries are often imperceptible, but suddenly the car may stop right on the road or in a remote area, as it turns out that you have been driving with “bare enthusiasm” for some time without recharging the battery. Therefore, make sure that the battery does not disappoint you in advance and check that the terminals are securely fastened.

“Water is life”, or all about liquids. A successful car trip is not possible without oil, brake fluid and glass cleaner. It is usually normal to change the oil once a year or every 10,000 to 300,000 km (depending on the manufacturer), but before the trip, check when the last oil change, the oil level and make sure there is enough oil. Otherwise, the engine may jam at the most inopportune moment. The damage is so severe that it is cheaper to take the machine to a dump than to repair it. And don’t forget the glass cleaner.

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Car eye light – front lights. To ensure a clear view of the road at all times, have the headlights adjusted by a workshop. They must set the lighting angle and height correctly. If this has never been done for a long time, be sure to perform preventive maintenance and adjustment of your car’s headlights before the trip – it will make your long journey much easier.

Wheels and tires. When inspecting the car’s chassis carefully, pay attention to the condition of the tires. Especially if the tires have been used for more than one season. Remember that the remaining depth of the tread pattern must be more than 1.6 mm – this will be indicated by special partitions inside the tread groove (these can be identified by marks on the side of the wheel). If the wear is high, the bulkheads will start to wear, which means it is time to change the wheels. Old tires, even if they have not been used for a long time, gradually dry out, cracks appear on their rims, which is also dangerous, because at the speed of such a tired tire, it can simply burst! Also, don’t forget to balance the wheels so that the wheels align properly.

We forecast a lot of car travelers this year. The pandemic has made adjustments to our habits – we do not want to plan trips long in advance, so plane tickets are quite expensive. In addition, we avoid large crowds and long journeys – we cannot know whether the borders will close or other unforeseen things will happen. Therefore, the car has become an even more popular choice than before, as evidenced by the fact that March and April were one of the busiest months in terms of sales for us as the largest used car dealer in the Baltic States.

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It is obvious that Latvians want to buy a car for the summer to spend time actively. But when buying a car from private or untested dealers, a person buys a cat in a bag, so going on a long trip without carefully checking your car is very risky. However, if you have decided to buy a car right now, shortly before the summer, and you do not have time to repair it, choose a reliable supplier.

Realizing that no one wants to repair a newly purchased car, we buy cars abroad and only from verified suppliers, perform diagnostics and repairs if necessary, as well as issue a car warranty for 2 months or 3,000 km. If you buy a car without a guarantee and do not perform diagnostics, a long trip can turn into an unpleasant, stressful adventure, so we recommend that you are not frivolous and prepare for the trip wisely.

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