Ready For The Road? Common Car Concerns On A Long Road Trip

Posted by at 23 February 2018, at 11 : 17 AM

Ready For The Road? Common Car Concerns On A Long Road Trip

You might consider a long road trip to be the bane of your existence, but if you have the horsepower and fuel economy, it would be a shame to not take your car out on the road for a lengthy period of time. Of course, when heading out on the road, you’ve got unlimited personal problems, but what are the main issues that crop up with your car?

Flat Tires

The vast majority of us don’t notice our tires have gone until the very last second. It’s important to check your tires and look for issues with the tread. You need to check for what is called wear bars, which is the darkened strips of rubber that show up when attire is completely worn out. The other way to check your tire tread is the old-fashioned penny trick.

The Electrics

If you’re heading out on a lengthy road trip, the general maintenance of the car is something that has to be at the forefront of your mind. The electrics are responsible for pretty much everything you need. From the horn, to the wipers, as well as the lights. Make sure you have extra fuses and bulbs on standby should a lamp blow. And make sure that you change the windscreen wiper blades before you head off, because it’s unlikely you’ve changed them for a long time. If you’re driving in countries that are going to throw a lot of monsoons at you, you’d better make sure that you, and the car, are prepared.


If you’re going to drive in countries with limited roads, you might end up breaking down at some point. Of course, it’s helpful that you don’t break down in the middle of nowhere. Common reasons for breakdowns includes the tires, but that could be problems with the fuel, the clutch cables, spark plugs, or the biggest culprit: a faulty battery. A very simple preparation is to get your car serviced, so you know you are up to speed. They will look at the common issues, such as the fan belts, the wheel bearings and the strength of the brakes, and it would benefit you to get these replaced at home, rather than in a country where it’s more expensive, but also more difficult to acquire.

The Other Drivers

It’s not something you would think of right away, but if you are driving in foreign countries with different rules, or you are pretty new to this whole driving lark, you might be in for a rude awakening when you see the habits of other drivers. In a country like Italy, for example, especially in built-up city areas, it appears like it’s every driver for themselves! It’s important to get prepared for their driving habits by doing your research first, and also, you should examine the laws for each particular country. Believe it or not, there are some weird and wacky laws that you wouldn’t have considered before you set off. Something as basic as eating while driving is illegal in Cyprus, and in fact, it’s illegal to drink water while driving there!

Lack Of Suitable Emergency Tools

If you’re unable to patch up some little problems to tide you over until you get to the next mechanic, you going to find yourself stuck by the roadside a lot. Make sure you’ve got a roadside emergency kit that contains the basics, from a car jump starter, a can of tire inflator, oil, and some roadside flares in case you are stuck somewhere in the middle of the night, but the toolkit should contain some screwdrivers, a wire cutter and a wrench. And a good toolkit means nothing if you don’t have any knowledge to back it up, so get some basic information under your belt, or fashion a repairs booklet yourself, so you’ve got the opportunity to fix the problem as quickly as possible.


It’s not something that many drivers think about, but if you’re heading out on a road trip, you could be driving for 12, 13, 14 hours without a break. This amount of fatigue is going to impact your quality of driving, of course. But it can get a lot worse. Fatigue is one of the biggest killers on the road, and if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and you feel your eyes begin to droop, it’s important to have some rest. Either pull into a service station and go for a walk, or check into a hotel for the night. And while the temptation could be to sleep in your car, it is illegal in some countries!

Over Reliance On The GPS

Gone are the days of consulting a map to find your direction, now, we rely so much on a satellite navigation system to get us from A to B, that we don’t do any preparation anymore! The big problem in having an over reliance on this, admittedly, handy piece of machinery, is that if it doesn’t update itself regularly, you might find yourself going down incorrect routes. If a new road had been built since the last time the system updated, it could throw you into complete disarray, or could even cause an accident. It’s always beneficial to do some pre-planning, especially using a comprehensive mapping system like Google Maps. Google Maps is handy, because it will show you some potential problems when you head out on your journey, but it’s best to keep your wits about you.

It’s not always the mechanics that cause you anxiety when heading out on a road trip, but if you don’t have your car in tip top shape, it’s going to cause more problems and will kill any sense of excitement on the road. And if you’ve got an old car, you need to ask yourself if it’s up to the trip. A road trip should be an enjoyable experience, but if you spend 1/3 of your time on the roads consulting maps because you’re lost, and digging out your toolbox because you’ve broken down (again), or just feeling a lot of rage, you’ve got to make sure your car is ready for the road.

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