How to set up the car for a trip

The state of alert to face the coronavirus pandemic has kept us and our vehicles confined for many weeks. If in normal situations we should give our car a tune-up before starting any long trip, now more than ever we should take that service seriously.

From the RACC (@ClubRACC) have launched a small guide with these tips that can be very useful to get back in the car:

  1. Visual check: Open the front hood to check that everything is in correct condition, checking hoses, cables, straps and plastics.
  2. Drums: If we have started the car regularly to avoid its discharge, we will have no problems when starting the march, but it is always advisable to check its charge level. The most modern vehicles always have a minimum consumption of battery, reason why long inactivity can drain it. In the event that the vehicle starts, we must have it running for approximately half an hour to charge the battery sufficiently, avoiding acceleration until after five minutes, since the motor oil remains lodged in the crankcase by gravity, so we must wait for the Oil pump lubricate the entire engine equally.
  3. Tires: Inactivity favors a greater loss of pressure, so we must check the pressure and inflate the tires with the measures indicated by the manufacturer, usually located on the driver’s door or in the trunk. In long periods of inactivity we can always inflate above what is indicated. For example, if they must be inflated to 2.9 bar, doing it to 3.1 will give us some margin to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  4. Liquids and oil: The oil and coolant level are the most important. In the case of filling any of the liquids, you must always respect the measures imposed by the manufacturer. It is also important to look under the car for leaks. We must not forget to also check the windshield wiper water, the power steering fluid or the brake fluid.
  5. Filters: It is advisable to clean the air filter, especially if the car has been parked on the street and, mainly, on land. Diesel vehicles that are fifteen years old or younger also have particle filters; To regenerate them and achieve the incineration of the solid remains of the gases, we must circulate between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm, for about 25-30 km.
  6. Gasoline: In the case of very old vehicles, it is advisable to park them with a full tank to avoid deterioration, but in modern vehicles avoiding overfilling is a priority. Gasoline has an expiration date from which it can lose properties, although it is not likely that we will exceed it in a period as short as a quarantine. In addition, the fuel that we refuel is not the same in summer as in winter (in winter, it is prepared with components of greater volatility to favor greater vaporization, while in hot weather this aspect is avoided), so consume the winter fuel. in summer it can cause breakdowns in the car
  7. Gearbox and brakes: We must check the tension of the handbrake and its correct operation, as well as the gear change gear. It is possible that during the first use, the brakes emit a sound similar to scratching with sandpaper for the first few meters, due to dirt. We solve this with soft braking to regain full efficiency.
When do we have to change the car oil?

Taking into account that we are already entering the summer, keep in mind these checkpoints recommended by the RACE (@RACE_es):

  • Air conditioning system: a key element for safety on summer journeys because it helps to maintain the correct interior temperature, something that prevents fatigue. If you connect the air conditioning and it does not cool quickly, it may be time to change the filter or charge the refrigerant gas.
  • Wiper washer: It must be in good condition to withstand summer storms and also to be able to remove mosquitoes from the windshield.
  • Refrigeration system: Before starting a trip, it is advisable for a professional to check the condition of the radiator and the hoses, and that there are no coolant leaks. Any of these elements in poor condition can cause an engine overheating.
  • Lights: Do not forget to check that all the lights in the car are working properly, especially if you are going to travel at night.

    How to keep your car ready during confinement: be careful with the battery and tires