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How to Keep Your Car in Tip-Top Shape for Travel

Most people prefer to travel in their own personal car around the country rather than using a transport company. It’s easier when the place you are travelling to is less than two hours from your current location. But before you travel, here are 3 things you need to do to keep your car in tip-top shape before you hit the road.

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Service Your Car Before The Trip

Before you travel, take your car to the mechanic for a checkup or for servicing. Let them replace the oil with fresh oil, change the fuel filter, clean the plugs, and replace your AC filters (if they have issues cooling). You can make sure your electricals are in order (especially if you drive an automatic).

Normally, you are supposed to have routine maintenance for your car. This should alert you of any other issues you need to tackle before embarking on interstate travel.

The things you can check by yourself include the brake/transmission fluid, the power steering oil level, if your brakes are working well, the state of your radiator, the water level, etc. If you are, be sure to check your wipers and replace them if they are not efficient.

Ensure Your Car Papers Are Up To Date

On major highways in Nigeria are police checkpoints. The aim is to pick up on suspicious activities and ensure safety on the highways. Sometimes it is FRSC officials that may flag you down to make sure you aren’t driving a stolen vehicle. So you have to make sure you have all your car papers in order.

Renew any document that may have expired like your driver’s licence. Other documents to have on you are road worthiness, car insurance, state or local government registration for private car, car ownership document, and permit for tinted windows (if you have them).

You don’t have to carry all your original documents around all the time, having photocopies of some to present might just be enough to satiate the officers.

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Deploy Safety Measures

There are some safety things you need to have on you when driving. And there is no better time to sort them out than when planning to travel by road. So make sure you have your cautions sign, fire extinguisher, spare tire, wheel spanner, jack, funnel or a pipe. If it will come in handy in an emergency, pack it.

Also, be wary of the tire gauge of your car. Pump your tires to 40-45 max. Anything higher and your tires will be susceptible to bursting on the high way. Also when purchasing a tire, no matter how new it may look, make sure it is not expired. Use the four-digit expiry date on the tire to confirm before you purchase it. This will also reduce the likelihood of a flat tire or it getting easily destroyed on your journey.

Furthermore, if you know car owners in the state you are visiting or people who have driven through the states you plan to pass through, speak with them before you travel. Ask for information on how the roads are and what routes to take that will be less stressful for you and your vehicle.

Having an enjoyable road trip may not be totally dependent on the state of your vehicle. But having a car that’s fit for travel takes a load of worry off from you.

So have you ever travelled in your personal car? What did you do differently from what’s listed above to ensure your car was perfect for the trip?



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Ann Esievoadje

Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at You can reach her at

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