Life is a continuous journey. The word used in the previous sentence is “continuous” which refers to a continuous motion from your side. If you stop you ultimately fail. That’s the point here, before starting your journey, you must make sure that isn’t there anything that might force you to stop in between your journey. Therefore, some essential pre-journey checks are compulsory to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey. Your car is just a machine, which only has 4 wheels, some parts of the engine, some parts of suspension, etc. It doesn’t have the brains to sense what’s required and what’s not. You have brains. It’s your responsibility to check whether your car is lagging in something or not.  This blog post will guide you about 10 essential formalities that are compulsory for you to fulfill before starting your journey. Let’s have a look:

Key Takeaways:

  • Fluid Levels Matter: Just as your body needs fluids to function properly, your vehicle requires proper levels of engine coolant, oil, brake fluid, and more to ensure smooth operation. Regularly check and top up these fluids before embarking on any journey to avoid potential breakdowns.
  • Tire Maintenance is Crucial: Good tires are essential for safe driving. Regularly check tire pressure and overall condition, ensuring they meet recommended levels and have adequate tread depth. Neglecting tire maintenance can compromise road grip and safety.
  • Brake Inspection is Non-Negotiable: A well-maintained braking system is vital for safe driving. Regularly test your brakes for responsiveness and unusual noises, and have them serviced every 10,000 kilometers to ensure optimal performance.
  • Regular Oil Changes are Essential: Keep track of your vehicle’s oil change intervals, especially in varying weather conditions. Over time, oil loses its viscosity and lubrication properties, potentially leading to engine damage. Don’t hesitate to change the oil if needed, especially before long journeys.
  • Preparedness is Key: Anticipate potential emergencies by keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. Include essentials like a first-aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, basic tools, spare tire, jack, and roadside assistance contact information. Being prepared can make all the difference in unexpected situations on the road.
1.  Check fluid levels:

Well, you are a human. Can you imagine yourself surviving without fluids? The same goes for your vehicles. They also need a proper level of fluids to function properly. These fluids include engine coolant, engine oil, gear oil, brake oil, and windshield washer fluid. All these fluids must be checked one by one to ensure a smooth and hassle-free ride.

2.  Check tire pressure as well as condition:

Well, imagine yourself walking without shoes. Or imagine yourself walking with worn shoes. In both cases, you would feel extremely uncomfortable. The same goes for your vehicle. How will it move properly if it isn’t equipped with good tires? Before starting your trip, make sure to check the pressure of all 4 tires. For superb road grip, put the air pressure to 28psi in all 4 tires.

Also, have a look at the overall tire condition. Place a coin inside the tire groove. If the coin gets inserted in the groove up to half its diameter, replace the tire immediately or avoid going on the journey. You can also check the tire manufacturer’s guidelines. Mostly tires are safe until they travel 1 lakh kilometers. But this can vary from brand to brand.

3.  Check your brakes:

During your journey, you need to stop your vehicle sometimes. These stops can be pre-planned by you or they can occur by chance, but in both these cases, you require a proper braking system. This will depend entirely on your maintenance. Test your brakes to ensure they are responsive and free from any unusual noises or vibrations. If you notice any issues, have your brakes inspected by a qualified mechanic and replace worn brake pads or discs if necessary. Moreover, make a routine to service your brakes every 10 thousand kilometers.

4.  Change your engine oil:

Most oil manufacturers have set a standard of 5000km. If your car has crossed 5000 km, it needs an oil change. But this can vary over different weather conditions. On hot summer days, if your car has done 4000km after a recent oil change, and you have to go on a long journey, just go for an oil change without consulting anyone. You can also check the viscosity of oil by taking out the oil stick and putting some oil on your thumb and index finger, then rubbing them together. If you feel any friction upon rubbing, the oil has loosened its viscosity and is no longer capable of lubrication.

5.  Change your car’s lights:

Check all exterior lights, including headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights, to ensure they are working correctly. Proper lighting is crucial for visibility, especially during nighttime driving or adverse weather conditions.  

6.    Inspect car belts:

Always check the belts before long journeys. Especially the timing belt must be inspected. If you have driven your car up to 1 lakh kilometers, you need to replace your old timing belt with a new one. Upon inspection, if you find any sort of cracks in your belt’s surface, don’t take the risk of traveling with the worn-out belt, as it can lead to engine failure. 

Moreover, also check your compressor belt which connects your AC compressor to the engine. In case of failure of this particular belt, your AC system will stop working, which will cause you serious trouble on a hot summer day.

7.  Check battery terminals:

Inspect the battery terminals for corrosion and ensure they are securely connected. If your battery is more than three years old or shows signs of weakness, consider having it tested or replaced to prevent unexpected breakdowns.

8.  Check the air filter and cabin filter:

 As a human, you need clean air to breathe properly. Therefore your cabin filter must be clean to ensure good air quality inside your vehicle. But wait, is that enough? How can you accept the fact that you require clean air for breathing, while your car doesn’t? Your car also needs clean air to ensure proper running of the engine. Therefore, clean your air filter before your journey. If your air filter and cabin filter have accumulated extreme dirt, don’t waste your effort in cleaning them, just throw them in the garbage, and buy new ones.

9.    Check, car wipers:

In rainy weather, worn-out wipers don’t help that much in providing you a clear visibility. Therefore keeping weather conditions in mind, always look at your wipers. In case you hear screaming sounds from wipers, immediately replace them with new ones.

10.  Check your wheel alignment and suspension:

Make sure that your wheels are properly aligned. A simple way to check this is to keep your steering wheel in an ideal position and notice the trend of the car’s direction. If your car slides away to either the left or right side, your car needs alignment. Also, notice the behavior of your car at high speeds. You can do this by driving on main highways within the city. If your car wobbles at speeds above 80km/h, then you need wheel balancing also. 

Also, inspect your suspension before starting long journeys. If you notice any cracking sounds from the suspension on bumps or jumps, your car suspension needs to be inspected. It can either require some maintenance or a complete replacement.

11.    Always carry an emergency kit:

Well didn’t I promise for 10 essential things to do before long trips? Hang on, if you don’t want to read this, it’s up to you, but reading this will most probably help you in emergencies. Because troubles don’t announce themselves before coming to your side. Therefore, always keep an emergency kit containing essential items such as a first-aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, basic tools, spare tire, jack, and roadside assistance contact information. Being prepared for unexpected situations can help mitigate risks during your journey.


 Driving is not about just sitting in the driving seat and turning the steering wheel. When you are a driver, you are responsible for every check and balance of your vehicle. This article was all about the driver’s guide. This guide can be followed by anyone who wants his journey to be seamless and relaxed. Before starting your journey, some essential pre-journey checks are compulsory for you to carry out. Maintain your car’s fluid levels, and check your brakes, lights, and condition of tires. Also, check the condition of your engine oil, and perform inspection of your engine belts and other rubber parts.

Never compromise on any of the above-mentioned things. Always carry an emergency kit along with you. Cars can have sudden breakdowns at any time, but carrying out the above steps reduces the chances of sudden breakdowns. That is why it’s advisable to keep an emergency kit alongside so that if you counter any unexpected breakdown, you can still manage to get out of that situation.     

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