Driving During the Holidays? Take These 8 Tips to Do it Safely


The holidays have arrived and many people decide to travel in their cars. To avoid having a bad time, the director of the School of Technical Education of the Universidad del Pacífico, Roberto González, shows eight critical points to check in your car.

1. Tires: before going on holidays it is necessary to check the tires. The tread-surface of contact of the tire with the floor should have a uniform surface and a depth of at least 1.6 mm. Also you should check the tire pressure which is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and shown in the manual or on the nameplate attached to the pillar of the driver’s door.

Check the spare tire: It must be inflated and the pressure must be the given by the manufacturer. The spare tires in some brands are not the standard, but are for emergency, that means that you must repair or buy the series tires that were damaged and not usually drive with the spare tires. Besides, these implements have an indicated maximum speed, which is usually between 80 to 90 km/hour.

2. Checking the rolling tire is recommended to avoid problems when you are driving, like the vibrations that occur on the wheel. Besides, this increases the life of tires.

3. Front wheel: It is recommended to perform a periodic intervals alignment of 10,000 or 15,000 kms. This allows you to check the condition of front wheel and do the specified adjustments by the manufacturer to avoid problems such as:
– Instability of steering when you are driving in a straight line and curves.
– Irregular tire wear.
– Premature wear of components of steering and suspension of the vehicle.

4. Before checking the levels it is recommended to do an oil change, if necessary, and then check:
– Oil level, according to the manufacturer’s manual.
– Brake liquid level, according to the manufacturer’s manual and the specifications of the type of brake liquid recommended by the brand of your car.
– Liquid Level of hydraulic steering, except for vehicles with power steering. They should check the manufacturer’s manual to determine the location of the deposit and the specifications of the type of hydraulic liquid recommended by the brand of your car.
– Oil level automatic box.
– Coolant liquid level brake.

5. Lights: Remember to check the condition of all car lights and replace the appropriate bulb, also remember:
– Sidelights parking.
– Lights of lighting (high and low).
– Flashlights.
– Rear brake lights.
– Reverse indicator lights.
– Patent Lights.

6. Brakes:
– Front brake pads. If they are worn, change and check surfaces of rubbing disc brakes. In case of problems on the surface friction, it is recommended to rectify or change the brakes according to the vehicle manufacturer’s manual.
– For the rear brakes, check the condition and cleanliness, and if necessary, do adjustment or change.

7. Belts Accessories: To ensure a proper operation of the vehicle, verify the condition of the belts of the following elements:
– Water pump.
– Power steering hydraulic pump.
– Alternator.
– Air conditioning compressor.

8. Emergency Kit: Remember to always keep in your vehicle the following elements:
– Exhaust: Check load and, importantly, its expiration date.
– Triangles: Check conditions. They should not be broken and must have a basis to support them on the ground.
– Jack and wheel wrench (should always be in the vehicle).

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