Planning a road trip? ServiceMarket has prepared a list of things you need to do to ensure that your adventure in the UAE is free of roadside trouble. You can perform all of these checks yourself or take your car to a mechanic.
Check the fluids
- Engine oil
- Transmission fluid
- Differential fluid
- Wiper fluid
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Clutch fluid (older cars)
You don’t want to run low on your trip. Depending on the condition of the fluid, you might need to change it or just top it up to recommended factory levels. If the fluid isn’t clean, it definitely needs to be changed along with its respective filter. Check your vehicle’s manual for the location of fluid reservoirs.
Inspect the belts and hoses
Older cars have more than one belt that you would need to inspect for wear and tear. Newer cars have a single engine belt that does the job. Turn it sideways to look at the surface. If it looks old and worn, replace it. Next, inspect the radiator and heater hoses. If any have cracks, blisters or bulges, replace them.
Read the rubber
Look at the condition of your tyres. If you notice cuts and cracks in the sidewall or a tread depth lower than 1.6mm, replace your tyres. If you notice uneven tread, check the alignment as well.
Measure the pressure on all the tyres (including the spare) with a calibrated gauge and make sure it matches the numbers posted on a placard within the driver’s door jamb. Be aware of any weather specific recommendations for pressure and fill the tyres accordingly. Don’t forget to check that the tyre iron and jack are where they should be. You don’t want to end up with a flat and no tools to be able to use the spare.
Test the battery
Car batteries last three to five years. If you aren’t sure how old it is, check it with a voltmeter and replace if the charge is dropping below 12 volts. Inspect the terminal for loose connections, damaged cables and dirt or corrosion. Corrosion and dirt can be easily cleaned with a mixture of baking soda and water. Damaged terminals, however, need to be replaced.
Inspect the air filters
When was the last time you replaced the engine’s air filter? If it is torn, dirty or filled with debris, replace it. This is also a good time to inspect the cabin’s air filters. If they are dirty, replace them so you have quality air in the car while driving.
Try the lights and wipers
You need to make sure all the lights are in good working order and the wipers are giving a smear-free view. Test the brake lights, turn signals, taillights and headlights (high and low beams). Have a friend around to make sure everything is working while you man the controls. It is best to do this test in the dark. Fix anything that isn’t working.
Check the shocks, struts and springs
Do a test drive. If the car is bouncing or the suspension is bottoming out when you back out of a driveway, you might need to have a mechanic look at your shocks, struts and springs. Another common sign of a worn out suspension system is if a car does a nose dive when brakes are applied or you accelerate.
Check the brake pads
Does the brake pedal feel soft even after you have replaced or topped up the fluid? You might have worn pads. You don’t want to lose the brakes on a steep downhill drive. If you aren’t sure if they need to be replaced, get in touch with a mechanic and have them inspected.
No matter how much maintenance you and/or your mechanic do on your car before your road trip, there is no guarantee you won’t have car trouble while on the road. So pack a roadside survival kit and make sure that your motor insurance company in Dubai offers roadside assistance as part of your policy.
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Now your car is road trip ready! The last step that you need to do, if you are planning on exploring other countries in the region, is to make sure that your Dubai car insurance company offers extended geographic coverage in your policy. You might also need off-road driving cover if you plan on driving in the desert or the mountains. If you aren’t happy with the current terms of your policy, it might be time to switch providers and purchase a new one that offers the coverage you need. Get free quotes on ServiceMarket from reputable car insurance companies in Dubai if you are looking for a policy that provides additional coverage.
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