Preparing your car
Once you are on a solo drive, the car is your best friend. You take care of it and it sure will return the favor. While most of the checks that I am about to talk, may not be applicable to a rental car but knowing is always better, will help you in future.
Service your car a week before starting your trip.
You can go to your dealer or any shop that you trust and ask them to perform basic inspection. This will give you enough confidence especially when you will be driving through less traveled routes with no cellphone network coverage. The last thing that you would want is getting stranded on the roadside.
Now if you are a DIY guy and know basics about car, you can check the following. Before I start a trip, I always perform these basic inspections just a few days before.
- Tyre pressure. Often overlooked but one of the critical maintenance that you should do to your car. Check the owners manual or on the driver side door hinge to properly inflate the tires. If I am carrying more luggage, I usually bump up the pressure 3-5 psi more than what the manufacturer suggested.
- Engine oil. Check your engine oil level and top off if required. If the next oil change date is approaching, give your engine a fresh life by changing the oil little early.
- Coolant level. It is very easy to check the level so make sure you inspect and top off, if required.
- Just for satisfaction, I would also check the power steering fluid, Brake fluid, AC filter and air filter condition ( clean if required).
Clean your car
A clean car inside and out is not only hygienic but will surely give you a sense of freshness. I try to wash and vacuum my car once I reach the first stop so that I start fresh to the next destination. Carry a perfume and apply once in a while. Trust me, this will refresh your mind. The scent is purely personal taste but I will give you a link to the one that I use often.
Night driving can be fun as the roads are relatively empty. But that comes with a surprise gift when you start noticing all the splatters accumulated on the windshield and front bumper. If you think you can clean them off once you return home, you are causing more harm than good to your car paint.
Clean windshield at the gas station as you stop for fueling. Depending on the highway, it may get dangerous to drive at night. As an example, interstate i25 towards New Orleans traverse through dense forest area and within few minutes the windshield was almost full with dead insects and their bloods. Wiper will just clean the dead bodies but not the bloods and other liquids that are left over. I had to make an emergency stop to clean it.
For front bumper area, there is another way, fortunately, that you can follow to keep the paint finish intact. The product link is here for your reference.
Its a low cost solution that effectively reduces the bug accumulation on the front bumper. It also protects the bumper from stone chips.
Tip- You can protect the door edges of your car if the garage is small.
This is what I use –
Here’s what it does