Bought the new car? Thinking of taking a long drive?
A long drive in the weekend is a new way to look at the world. People who love to drive will tell you it is like an addiction. Once you start breaking free from routine and take the open road, there is no stopping the spirit.
However, there are many of us who have been wishing to take that first long drive for some time. Here are the tips that will help you have a great drive. Although some may seem obvious but it is the obvious that we overlook most, don’t we?
First time or old timers, here are some timeless tips for a safe and enjoyable ride –
- First of all, remember to carry all necessary papers. Always!
- Fill the tank fully. During the journey keep an eye on the fuel level regularly.
- Correct the tyre pressure to the optimum. Get a full car check up. In case that is not achievable, at least get checked those parts that you might feel necessary.
- For the first timers, do not drive for too long without a break. Take short breaks in between to stay fresh. Another advantage of that is you get to enjoy the roadside tea, food and click some good pictures of your journey.
- Carry your drinking water. It is always better for health plus you do not want to miss when you need it. Carry any other stuff that you might need on the journey like paper napkins, basic medicine or snacks. Carry an extra bottle in case you need it to wash your windscreen.
- Always carry your toolkit and a first aid box. Add a strong torch to your kit.
- Before you take the trip, get a map and carry it with you. If you know someone who has made the trip before, ask them for feedback. You do not want to take a trip where the roads are awful. It is not fun ad it is not good for your car at all.
- If possible get some news of the route at present to avoid any unpleasant surprise, roadblocks or checkpoints. Information always helps.
- Keep your speed so that you are steady enough to save on fuel as well as you enjoy the view.
- Watch out for crossing animals or village folks.
- One of the problems on Indian highways is that the heavy vehicles can get really rough at times or take the wrong lane. Do not get involved with them. Most of the time in the highway, the heavy vehicles will only respond to dipper signal for overtaking instead of the blow horn.
- Highway dhabas are generally great eateries. Do not miss a great meal there. There are some people who would take a route simply because they love eating a loved dhaba. However, drinking and driving is a no-no.
- Do not over-experiment with your car too much by testing its limits. Getting your car out of order is sure way to repent but it is too late then. Drive safely.
- Carry cash. Many petrol pumps may not have the facility to accept cards. You will also need the cash for the food and in any emergency. Highways are meant to have ATMs.
- Do not plan to stretch the drive too much. Remember this is meant to be a refreshing journey.
- If you plan a one day trip, leave earlier in the morning. If you plan to stay overnight, make sure you plan it beforehand. Offhand decisions do make trips interesting but keep it to the minimum.
- Some drivers always like to keep a long tow rope, just in case. Better to not need one though but in case in the rare event that you need for your car or to help someone else.
- Carry an additional tyre tube in the chance that you do not have a servicing close by. It is always good for you to know what to do in case of punctures.
- Some seasoned drivers also keep engine oil and coolant in the car during a long drive.
- If it is really hot, it is imperative that you get your tyre pressure checked and adjusted at the petrol pumps.
- If you have to use headlights, maintain high or low beams as it is appropriate.
- Many hard core drivers carry fuses, bulbs or even jumper cables in case of a battery breakdown. If you have checked your car before the journey, this is almost never a problem. But in the exceptional cases like cold or rains. Things can happen like this in the case you fill your fuel tank too much to the brim and sometimes it causes a vacuum to form and the fuel tank cannot pump fuel to the engine. However these cases are rare and with more driving experience you will get better on how to manage your car as a whole.
- One thing is that you should check if you are carrying something unnecessary in the boot of your car. If the weight of the car increases, so does the fuel consumption.
- Carry a mobile phone charger that you can use in the car. Alternately, get a power bank of a good brand.
- Make sure you let a family or friend know where you are going.
- Most importantly, enjoy your drive!
Image credits: petrolicious.com, http://roa.h-cdn.co, travel-monkey.com, www.visitcalifornia.com