Why do you need to check your car after a long trip?

Now that we are all immersed in the routine and we look with love and longing for the next vacation, we must bear in mind that for all those leisure trips we almost always use the car to the desired place. After all these trips, that between round trips and trips to the destination, a good handful of kilometers tend to accumulate on the odometer, so it is very important to pass a small “check” to our vehicles.

And some will say that they already check the car before leaving on a trip, of course, it is essential. But on the way back we also have to pay attention to some points that may have suffered more than necessary due to the exceptional circumstances to which we expose the vehicles .

A long journey can be a danger in the future

The maintenance of vehicles is a part that can be crucial not only for determining their useful life but also as a relevant factor in the event of an accident. According to DGT magazine, the poor condition of the vehicle is the cause of accidents between 4.5% and 13% of the time.

The poor condition of the vehicle causes accidents between 4.5% and 13% of the time

It goes without saying then that, if with a few simple considerations we can keep our vehicle in optimal condition , the little effort we invest both in updating it, as well as familiarizing ourselves with its general condition, is a sacrifice well spent and that ultimately reverberates to our benefit.

Meteorology and its effects

Although now inland tourism is becoming very fashionable, most of the summer trips take us to places on the coast . Some like the North better with its mountains and vegetation, while others prefer good weather and summer heat.

Weather environments other than usual can have damaging effects on our vehicles beyond simple aesthetics.

Beware of the wear of the saltpeter

In any case, we have a common denominator which is saltpeter. This uncomfortable friend of coastal places, together with the humidity of the environment, is one of the most terrible enemies of painting in general and of metals in particular. Have you ever wondered the reason for so much rust on the railings of the promenades?

Saltpeter is one of the most terrible enemies of paint and metals

Vehicles that tend to live in coastal areas tend to adopt a more aged aesthetic than those that circulate only in interior climates in which the salinity of the sea does not make its own.

The best thing we can do after spending a few days (or weeks) enjoying the coast is that once we have returned to our usual residence, give the vehicle a good thorough wash , including the underbody, and, if we can, apply a little polish or wax to the entire body.

By eliminating the remnants of saltpeter and marine humidity, we will prevent the corrosive effect they have from haunting us once we return to our usual home.

The dirtiest rain

Another very characteristic element of the coastal areas is that (at least to me) sooner or later, while you are trying to enjoy the holidays, a storm hits you. A few minutes, but with plenty of water. They can be good to refresh the environment and enjoy a while lying on the sofa, but when you go out and see your car you may find it covered in a very unpleasant kind of mud.

Especially after a period without having rained, when a storm like this hits the water drags a lot of suspended dust that is deposited by everything it catches, including our car that was innocently parked. With how clean it was after washing it and removing all the mosquitoes from the trip …

Dust can cause premature wear of the outer rubber parts

Before we go crazy, the first thing is to remember that it is only dust. But be careful, because it can cause premature wear of the outer rubber parts . And I don’t mean the wheels.

If we are going to wash it, again, we must avoid giving it to the clean ones to clear the moon. The best thing is that we take a bucket of water and remove the excess dust from the crystals. If we force the cleaners to work with so much dirt we can scratch the windows or wear the tires and then they clean badly. And the same exactly with the windows.

Our arch enemy the hail

Another of those meteorological phenomena typical of summer, and one of the most fearsome, is hailstorms . Those who are lucky enough to have a garage in their vacation spot will not have to worry too much. Hail all you want. But those of us who leave the car outside without the possibility of putting the vehicle in safety, the only thing we can do is entrust ourselves to the saints and hope that it will happen soon.

A thick blanket over the car can save various problems caused by hail

The effects on the exterior of the car can be terrible depending on the hail that falls. The bodywork can be completely marked , full of dents that are not fixed just like that, in addition to the windows being in serious danger.

The really complicated thing about hailstorms is that they are unpredictable. But if we are not going to move the car in a few days and it is an area where it tends to hail, it would not hurt to put a very thick blanket over the car, the kind with which the removals are made, to try to stop the impacts.

And well, if in the end it doesn’t hail better, you’ll just be the weird guy who shelters his car in the middle of summer.

Impacts on the moon

Related to the previous point we also have the overexposure that we present throughout the trip to the vehicle’s windows. It is not unusual to find cars that have the moon marked in the best of cases, or with authentic chinazos .

It is true that many times we cannot avoid them, we cannot control that while we are driving on the road a small stone that jumps at the passing of another vehicle hits us on the windshield. But, for example, resorting to the typical advice not to drive behind trucks or heavy vehicles can save us some trouble. All heavy vehicles displace a large amount of air capable of dragging diverse and highly varied dangerous elements in their wake.

Not only do you have to spend as little time as possible behind trucks that are loaded with dirt, but you also have to take into consideration that all heavy vehicles displace a large amount of air capable of dragging diverse and highly varied dangerous elements in their wake.

I don’t know if it happened to you, but the impact of an object with enough force to break the front glass gives you a good scare. Attest.

You have to let the turbo rest

And finally, a point much more important than what people usually think is that we must respect the periods of heating and the rest of the elements as critical as those that makeup overfeeding systems. Today, most engines have opted to use these methods to achieve better performance in smaller engines to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

We must leave the car running at idle for a couple of minutes for the turbo to lower revs and cool down

The turbine in these systems usually rotates around 150,000 revolutions per minute in operation and is cooled with the same engine oil. If we have been doing a long trip, say about four hours, even if we stop for lunch halfway, we must leave the car running at idle for a couple of minutes so that the turbo revs down and cools down.

If we turn off the car directly just after stopping the turbo will have gone from turning at many thousands of revolutions per minute and with a very high temperature to being stopped and without the cooling provided by the engine oil pump.

Turbo failures are very common, but many times we do not think about them and we carry out very unhealthy practices for this system, as are cold accelerations.

The postvacional review

In addition to all this, it is convenient to do a simple review of the general condition of the vehicle . I know that it is very lazy and that we return with all the post-vacation depression, but we must make the effort if we want our car to last us many more trips like this.

The tires are decisive in the good grip of the vehicle

Starting with the simple ones, we can measure the pressures of the wheels, since they may have lost part of their inflation with the excessive tute and check that they do not have any irregular wear or any cuts. Come on, they are good in general.

If we see that any flank is cracked, it will have been due to low pressures, a lot of load on the vehicle or both at the same time. And if we find that the tread has worn strangely it may be due to some part of the suspension that does not work well.

Various liquids, all level

By means of a simple almost exclusively ocular inspection we can avoid premature wear on our car

It is also very important to check fluid levels. We have done many kilometers in a very short time so it may be necessary to refill the clean water after having removed a few mosquitoes while on the move, we will also refill the oil in case it has consumed and the level is lower than when we left. And since we’ve gotten our hands dirty a bit, we’ll take a look at the brake, coolant, and steering fluid levels in passing.

If, due to mileage or duration, you already have to replace the oil and you are going to encourage yourself to do it yourself, it is best that before going to buy the corresponding bottle, we also get the corresponding oil filter and the cap washer emptying. So we leave the car seen for sentencing for another good run.

Other consumables

Already put, it is also recommended that we take a look at the air filter. It seems silly but it is a vital piece, after all, it is where the engine breathes. If it has become dirty, we can clean it with a good blowing or with specific products for this care, but the spare parts are around 20 or 30 euros and if we replace it we will ensure that more efficient combustion occurs.

And finally, in case a lot of dirty rain falls on us and we notice that the clean ones do not work properly , now that considerable rains can come, it costs nothing to buy a suitable replacement for our clean car and change them. As they say “we remember the Virgin when it rains”, and it is better to change the brushes before we miss them in the middle of a downpour.

We have already mentioned many of these repairs in this article, and once again we encourage you to do them yourself. It’s a good way to bond with a mechanical being we spend a lot of time with at the end.

Photos | Wikimedia