Wisdom > Hack

My 50-year-old self’s advice for those going on long drives

Really basic reminders that many motorists take for granted

Before embarking on a long journey, be sure that you and your vehicle are both ready. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

1. Inflate your tires properly. And that includes your spare tire. While you think your tires’ air pressure stays the same, it doesn’t (unfortunately). Air pressure drops even if you’re not using your tires. I pump up all my tires to about 32psi (when cold). It saves me some gas, too, as underinflated tires waste fuel.

2. Prepare your tools. Make sure you know where they are and what they’re for. And check if they’re complete so you’ll have everything you need in case you get a flat tire, for instance.

3. Have your wheels balanced and aligned. Nothing is more irritating (and more unsafe) than a wobbly tire at 100km/h.

4. Bring jumper cables. Have them handy in case you drain your car battery.

5. Have a spare car key. And make somebody else in the family (or group) keep it. You’ll be thankful when you lose your primary key on the beach.

6. Stash plastic bags in the car. They’ll be useful for all the drive-thru food along the way, and also for all the wet clothes after swimming.

7. Get neck pillows. Your wife and kids (or friends) will love you for these.

8. Be ready with snacks. You can munch on them while everyone else is sleeping, so you don’t fall asleep yourself.

9. Say a prayer of protection before driving off. Nothing beats the safekeeping of the Almighty.

Sam Liuson

Sam is the president and CEO of Wheel Gallery, an aftermarket shop that sells Concept One and Black Rhino alloy wheels, among others. He leads a Bible study group that includes fellow businessmen in the motoring community.