Summer is fast approaching, and many of us will be looking forward to a few days away in a pleasant part of the country! If you have a long road trip planned, it is important to make sure that your vehicle is well prepared to avoid any unwanted problems cropping up on the journey. Here are some tips to get your car road trip ready!
Check the fluid levels
It’s crucial to make sure that the engine has a sufficient supply of oil, so do a dipstick test and ensure the oil is at the correct level. Also check the coolant levels, which is the fluid that prevents the engine from overheating. There are plenty of online guides about how to do this, if you are unsure.
Also make sure the screen wash is fully topped up before you go, so that you can keep your field of vision clear on the journey.
Check the tyres
Make sure that the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, especially if you are loading the car up with heavy suitcases and extra passengers. Also check that the tread depth is above the legal minimum of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre. Ideally, it should be above 3mm for a longer journey.
The easiest way to check is to insert a 20p coin into the central groove of the tyre. If you can see the outer band of the coin, the tyre is below the legal limit and needs replacing.
Test the lights
It’s essential to make sure all lights, including the headlamps, brake lights, indicators and fog lights are working fully. Ask a family member or friend to watch the back of the vehicle as you test the lights. Pack some spare bulbs for the journey just in case.
Have a breakdown plan
It pays to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Make sure you have an adequate level of breakdown cover, and programme the recovery service number into your phone before setting off. If you are driving abroad, make sure your policy covers this.
Pack a warning triangle and a hi-vis vest, in case your vehicle breaks down in an inconvenient place, or you are involved in an accident. Carry some first aid kit, such as antiseptic wipes and bandages, and ensure your mobile is fully charged at all times.
Make sure your car’s spare tyre is in place and in a roadworthy condition. If you know some basic car maintenance skills, you can pack some jump leads, duct tape and other tools to help you fix any problems yourself.
Plan the journey well
To reduce the chance of a difficult journey, plan the route carefully, and have a plan B should you meet unexpected road closures. Programme your satnav in advance, and listen to traffic and weather reports ahead, and on the day of your journey. If you are able to share the driving, this is a good idea to prevent mistakes through tiredness.
If you are looking for windscreen replacement services, talk to us today!