Hari Raya is all about meeting up with family and loved ones. For many, this means the yearly “balik kampung” trip. However, before you make the long trip back to your hometown, there are all sorts of preparations to complete.
The most important of all the necessary preparations are of course the vehicle that you will be travelling home with. This is especially for those who will be travelling long distance across multiple states. Previously, mothers shared tips on how to keep their kids amused on the trip. Now, it’s time to get technical with some vehicle checks.
You do not want your car to break down in the middle of nowhere and leave you stranded. A broken down car with your kids making a fuss in the back seat would be an absolute nightmare. Follow this checklist and get your car into top condition before balik kampung!
The MUST do Vehicle Checks!
Check your oil level and the date that you may need an oil change. There is different advice regarding how often you should change the engine oil depending on your average usage, from three months, six months or even up to a year. How often you should change your engine is also dependent on the type of vehicle you own. You can either check the car manual from your vehicle’s manufacturer or just change it before your trip to be safe.
Fluids and leaks
Check the various fluid levels in your car and make sure they are all topped off. This includes the oil, coolant, and windscreen wash. If your coolant and oil levels are low, you may need to check for leaks in your car. If you see oil spots or coolant, which looks similar to oil and has a shiny texture, on the floor of your garage, get your vehicle checked by a technician.
Brake fluids and brake pads
This is extremely important. If your brake fluid level is low, your car is not safe to drive. This problem must not be ignored because it can cause your brakes to not work at all.
As you use your car, your brake pads will gradually wear down. When your brake pads wear out, the fluid level will get down closer to the “low” mark over time as it is being used to fill the braking system. This is a common cause of low brake fluid levels. Thus, when you replace your worn-out brake pads, be sure to top up your brake fluid as well.
A more serious cause of low brake fluid is a leak. If you don’t discover the source of the leak, you could end up running the brake system dry. This means even if you step on the brake pedal all the way, the car will not stop. This will endanger you and anyone else in the car.
Tyres are the main point of contact between your car and the road, and for trips over long distances, they need to be in top condition. First, check the surface condition and look at the tread wear. Ensure that the tread depth is at least 1.6mm. Otherwise, it’s time to switch out your tyres. Remember to also bring a spare tyre and the necessary tools to change tyres.
You should also check your tyre air pressure. The manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure for your car can usually be found on the sticker at the car door jamb or in your owner’s manual. Be careful to never under-inflate or over-inflate as this will cause unnecessary wear on your tyres.
Lights and signals
Make sure all lights and signals are functioning, especially if you intend to drive during the night time or during hours of the day with low light. Get someone’s help to stand outside the car while you activate the lights one by one. This includes headlights, turn signals, tail lights, reverse lights, and brake lights.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. There are multiple parts of a car, and every part needs proper maintenance. From the battery charge level to the condition of the seat belts, to the windscreen wipers. It’s important to take your car out for a test drive before your balik kampung trip to see its condition on the road.
Have a safe drive and happy travelling!
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