By Dez Duran-Lamanilao
You are all set for that weeklong vacation you planned a year ago. Everything seems to be ready. What you need to bring. When and where you plan to take a break from the long drive ahead. So you ask yourself, “Have I forgotten something?” Aside from making sure you are physically and mentally prepared to drive long hours, it is equally important to check if your car is as much ready as you are.
The BLOWBAG Test
This easy-to-remember acronym will allow you to enjoy the journey without having to deal with unnecessary worries that usually bother travelers planning a long drive. It is a great reminder of some of the most important parts of your car that you need to ensure are working properly before you embark on that long trip.
- Battery – You can safely and efficiently test your battery using basic tools, such as safety glasses, protective gloves, and digital multimeter. Anything below than 12.45 volts means that the battery should be recharged and tested professionally.
- Lights – Remember that it is an offense in law if your obligatory lights are working. These are the side and taillights, headlamps, direction indicators, stop lights and a rear number-plate light.
- Oil – Dipsticks help you determine the oil level of your car. If you see a below the minimum mark level, then it is time to add oil.
- Water – You should learn how to put water in the radiator. Your car’s cooling system makes use of coolant to avoid overheating incidents. It is preferable to mix coolant and water, whenever possible.
- Brakes – Make sure that the slot of your brake pad is still there, otherwise, it may mean you have to replace your pads. Worn out brake pads usually means feeling a vibration when braking. You should also change your brake fluid when you change your oil, usually every two years.
- Air – You need your car’s manual to identify the standard inflation pressure. It can also be found inside the driver’s door.
- Gas – Do not try using up all your fuel especially during long drives. A full tank means that your car is as ready as you are for a long trip. Beware though of driving with a broken fuel gauge. It may send the wrong signal like thinking that you are running out of gas when there is still a lot of it left.
Most importantly, remember to keep your insurer’s contact details in case of emergencies. This will only be possible if you are updated in your auto insurance. Driving without insurance exposes you to greater risks, an added burden that you can drive without.