Whether it is daily driving to work or during the festive season, it is always paramount to foster safe and defensive driving. If you are travelling home by car this Chinese New Year, we have prepared a quick checklist below for you to take note before your long drive.
Tire check and vehicle service
This first tip is compulsory for all vehicles. Sending in your car for a service is not only crucial before your long journey, but also helps in extending the lifespan and health of your vehicle.
Your tires are the only connection your car has with the road. Tire grip is the most critical element when it comes to an emergency. Check your tires according to the wear indicator and ensure that your tire pressure is at its optimum at least once a fortnight. The best time to top up with air is in the early morning or at night when the tire’s temperature is cooler. Also, don’t forget to check your spare in the trunk!
Brake pads are not the only component that is involved in stopping your car. Do also check your brake fluid and make sure it is at its recommended levels.
- Engine Oil
It is a standard procedure that your engine oil change happens according to your scheduled service. If you have recently sent in your car for service, you can also carry out checks on your own. The easiest way to do so is with the oil dipstick which commonly has a yellow or orange handle. Do remember to perform the inspection after your car has settled for several hours to get a more accurate reading.
Most windscreen wipers lose their consistency after a year due to wear and from the heat and sunlight we get all year round. If your wipers are skipping, scraping or show signs of cracking, it is time to change. For compatibility, do note the size and hook type on your wipers before you purchase.
The lights on your car are most essential for night driving. Perform a full check on your headlamps, high beams, rear lights, brake lights, third brake lights, your turn signals and even the hazard lights.
Depending on what vehicle you drive, the lifespan of a standard car battery lasts an average of two years. Early signs of a weak battery are when the engine struggles slightly during a start. To prevent getting stuck with a dead battery, you should get it checked at any service center or use an analog or digital multi-meter to test the battery’s charge level.
Get enough rest and plan your journey
If you are the designated driver, do remember to get enough sleep before your road trip. Even so, do exercise caution when it comes to driving in the afternoon after a meal, as you could also doze off at the wheel. If you start to feel tired, do not force yourself to continue, get the next driver to take over. You can plan your journey via navigation apps such as Waze or Google Maps.
Top up your Touch ‘n Go card
Do remember to have enough credit in your Touch ‘n Go card. More so, you could link your card with PayDirect via Touch ‘n Go’s eWallet app or use RFID if you have that installed.
Phone charger and powerbank
If you rely on your cellphone for navigation, do ensure it is fully charged the night before your journey. To be safe, do bring along a car charger or a power bank just in case. You never know when you need one for emergencies.
Practice patience and prudence on the road
If you are traveling with your loved ones, do remember that everyone else on the road has their destinations as well. Practice patience, courtesy and defensive driving when heading home this Chinese New Year.
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