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Oh summer time!

A great time for road trips or just plainly cruising through the streets at night to cool off. This should be an extremely stress free activity.

How can you ensure that you won’t encounter any issues on the road?

Simple: Make sure you have some basic tools, a jack, a spare wheel, some towing ropes or cables and some jumper cables. Coolant, water and brake fluid should be on hand too. I believe a car without these items in it is asking for a huge headache.

But aside from that, you’ve heard of the quote “An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure” right?

If you value your car, then you should take this to heart:

BLOWBAG stands for:

B- Battery
L- Lights
O- Oil
W- Water
B- Brakes
A- Air
G- Gas

These are the things you have to check each and every time you are about to embark on a trip whether it’s a short jaunt into the city or a lengthy ride down the highway.

Battery

Your battery is the heart of your car. Without it, everything is dead. So make sure you check your battery periodically. For regular batteries, You will have to check the fluid inside it and make sure it’s at the right level. You also need to make sure that your battery posts are clean and free of corrosion, dirt and other elements that may impede the delivery of energy to your car.

Lights

Day and night, day and night, day and night.
This is our daily cycle and the darkness will eventually come after a long day and you will need your lights.

But remember that your lights are also extremely important during the day especially your signal lights to signal other drivers on the road of your intents. So make sure all of your lights work particularly your signal lights, brake lights and headlights. Other lights that you may need are fog lamps but those should only be used for, you guessed it! foggy areas!

Make sure your lights are bright enough without being too glaring and ensure that your dimmer works as well as you can’t always have your lights on the bright settings cause it could blind other drivers.

Oil

If your car has a heart, then you can also say that it has blood.

But unlike a human heart, the oil (which is considered as your car’s blood) does not come from your battery. Your oil is extremely important as it protects your car’s internal gears from damaging itself from all the metal to metal interaction.

Therefore it is not self sustaining and over time your oil will accumulate dirt and grime and other imperfections. Make sure you change your oil regularly. Here’s a quick way to check if you need to change your oil.

Clear color – your oil is new. You’re good to go.
Light brown to deep golden color – You’re still okay but if you have deep pockets, have your oil changed. The deeper the color gets, the sooner you have to change your oil.
Black colored oil – Change it. NOW!

Water 

…(and coolant)

Don’t want to end up with your car on the side of the road blowing smoke? Make sure you check the water level in your radiator and the coolant in your coolant reservoir.

Brakes

Just as your car is meant to go forward, so should it have the ability to stop on a dime. Check your brakes regularly. That means your foot brake and your emergency brake. Check your brake fluid level too and change it regularly. Another thing you need to do is to bleed your brakes every now and then especially if you live in a rainy or easily flooded area.

Air

Your wheels allow your car to move forward and at the same time grip the road. Make sure you have the right tire pressure on all of your wheels. Remember to check for the proper PSI levels on your tires and stick with it. If your tires are too soft they’ll flatten out easily or provide too much grip on the road which can lead to fuel wastage. If your wheels are over inflated you’ll end up with tires that are oo hard and you’ll be jumping all over the place and have a bone jarring ride.

Make sure you rotate your wheels and change your tires if they’re already showing signs of balding.

Gas

Last but not the least: Check your gas. Make sure you always have enough gas for your trip.

Fill your tank up with enough fuel for each trip and have a great time.

Oh and if you noticed, I added an “S” to the regular acronym. So, instead of just BLOWBAG, you actually get BLOWBAGS.

What pray tell does “S” mean?

Security

Recent surges in car related crimes have given rise to the need to check your “S” or your Security to make sure all locks work, your alarms sound off properly and your lights blink when someone is attempting to or has tampered with your car.

Other security measures you can take is making sure you are parked in a well-lit area or somewhere that is covered by a CCTV so that should anything happen at least there’s a big chance someone will witness it.

So there you go.

As a recap:

Whether you’re going on a short trip or a long journey with your car, always check your:

B- Battery
L- Lights
O- Oil
W- Water
B- Brakes
A- Air
G- Gas
and
S – Security

Tata for now! Drive Safe everyone!

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