There may be a lot of rain coming in, but with daily heat levels easily hitting 35 degrees celsius, it looks as if our humble archipelago is truly embracing the tropical climate. With the heat becoming exhausting during our daily grind, chances are you’ll end up going on a trip or two to get away from all the stress.
Gearing up for a long trip goes beyond packing clothes and recreational gear – your steed will most likely need its fair share of preparation as well. A trip out of town may have different hazards and surprises in store, so it’s best to ensure your car is in tip top shape to take on the road ahead. Thanks to the folks at Bridgestone, here we have five basic items to check before setting off on your next trip out of town.
Suspension and Vehicle Alignment
If you live in the metro or anywhere close, chances are your daily workhorse goes through the ruts and bumps of our city roads. Being subject to these elements regularly would mean that your suspension’s alignment may have veered far off from factory specifications. If your steering wheel is not centered or if the vehicle veers towards the left or right without input, chances are your alignment is out of spec.
While a mis-aligned vehicle may not have immediate consequences, the long term effects can be quite severe. Leave it alone long enough and you can end up pre-maturely wearing out the tires. An off-center steering wheel may also prove uncomfortable to drive on long roads and expressways. Lastly, any form of mis-alignment may cause bad vibrations and worn bushings too. All told, a quick trip to an alignment rig at any of the Bridgestone Tire Centers around town will ensure your alignment stays in check.
Fluids and Consumables
Beyond checking for fuel, your vehicle runs on other key fluids as well. Things such as oil, coolant, and brake fluid all play a significant role in keeping your car running – not to mention keeping you safe on the road. If these things have been left unchecked since you’ve had the car, perhaps it would be best to bring it to the shop for a quick servicing. Given our current scorching hot climate, your vehicle will definitely feel the heat and work double time to keep you moving.
That said, ensuring that your cooling system works is definitely something to look into. Fresh motor oil is a major contributor to keeping your engine cool so it shouldn’t be taken for granted either. Other consumables such as brake pads and rotors may be well worth the inspection as well – brakes are perhaps the last thing you’d want to run out of on a long trip afterall.
Considering you will be spending a good part of the day on the road, it is of course important to keep your ‘on-the-go living space’ as clean as possible. Make sure all your amenities work – your Air Conditioning being the most important of course. Give your interior a once-over by removing any clutter, junk, and anything that may become a source for bacteria in the cabin. If you can’t be bothered to clean your car, your friendly neighborhood carwash can easily take care of this. And if your friends are tagging along, do them a favor and spare them of torment.
Tools and spares
When it comes to long trips out of town, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Expecting the unexpected can make the difference between a sour end to an otherwise happy trip or a small bump on the road. Bringing a handful of tools to replace items like a spare tire could prove useful should anything unfortunate happen. It wouldn’t hurt to bring a few socket wrenches to tighten any loose bolts along the way too. Considering the weight of the various tools you’ll need, they might prove cumbersome to carry altogether. But then again, it’s better to not need them than to need them and not have them.
Of course, the only four patches of rubber that make contact to the pavement are the most vital pieces you ought to check. Your tires are literally the only things that keep you from flying off the road – and they can reward or punish you depending on how you treat them. If you're seeing quite a bit of wear on your tires, they will need replacing.
But what qualities do you need to look for in a tire to replace the ones on your car? Reliability, low noise, better comfort, good handling and improved fuel economy are all very important aspects of a tire, and that's where the new Ecopia EP300 series from Bridgestone comes in.
Positioned as an eco-friendly tire, the Ecopia EP300 lends itself to improved fuel efficiency thanks to one key characteristic: reduced rolling resistance. The Bridgestone Ecopia range of tires have an advanced tread that helps a car maintain momentum more easily, meaning you won’t have to be on the gas pedal as much. Despite lending itself well to hypermiling, they still maintain proper traction and have plenty of grip when you need to stop.
A quick glance at the tread pattern of the Ecopia EP300 and you’ll notice that it has generous amounts of rain channels to disperse water away from the contact patch. The EP300 still gets its grips even in the harshest wet conditions because of this, and thus still maintains a high standard of safety.
Much unlike the tires your car may have come out with from the dealer, the Ecopia EP300 has a much quieter ride – meaning you won’t hear it drone over the radio on the expressway. While this may appear to be a small bit to factor in, you won’t be saying the same thing once you’re on the road listening to the drone of another tire.
Following these tips from Bridgestone ought to ensure a safe and happy trip for you and your family. So, where are you headed to beat this heat?
To find a Bridgestone Tire Center near you, click here.