As it's now officially Summer (yes I find it hard to believe too) you're probably thinking about your upcoming holiday. If you've decided to skip the beach holiday this year and stay in the UK then it's time for a road trip. It's important when preparing to travel a long distance that you've looked over your car and ensured it's in a good condition. There's nothing worse than breaking down hundreds of miles from home! This guide will give you plenty of great tips to make your road trip as fun and safe as possible.
Check your tyre tread
Before you head off make sure you check your tyres are ok. The legal limit for tread on your tyres is 1.6mm across the central 3/4 of the tread. If yours are lower than this not only could you potentially get points on your license if stopped by the police, your tyres could burst and cause a massive accident. Obviously this will not be a good start to your holiday. Point S is a online tyre retailer that sells a great range of tyres at rock bottom prices. If your tyre tread is too low Point S will guarantee to get you back on the road.
Check your car fluids
It's essential to check the levels of oil, windscreen wiper wash levels, coolant and brake fluid. All of these are vital to the running of the car and avoid unnecessary breakdowns or accidents. I recently learnt the very expensive lesson of not putting enough oil in my car. Needless to say it caused a seized engine - don't do it!
Check your tyre air pressure
Tyres should have a exact air pressure in order to ensure they drive without incident. The right pressure for your tyres is printed in the owner's manual or where the driver door shuts. Make sure you don't exceed the maximum pressure printed on the side of the tyre. Do check your spare tyre as well as you won't get far if you get a flat tyre and the spare is unusable!
Replace your oil
If your oil is due to be changed it's important to do this before a long journey. Old oil can cause sludge and may put stress on the engine potentially causing a breakdown. You'll need to empty out everything when replacing the oil and replace your oil filter.
Check your car's air filter
If your car has a clean supply of air to the engine this will improve how your vehicle performs. Whilst this won't necessarily cause a breakdown it will mean the car will drive smoother.
Give your car a wash
This may seem rather daft but if your car is clean this increases your visibility and chances of seeing obstacles. Also check your wiper blades and replace them if necessary. If your wiper blades are in poor condition this can cause poor visibility if its rains as the wipers will blur the windscreen instead of clearing it.
Make sure your lights are working
Before you head off check all your lights and indicators are working, both front and back. Ask a friend or family member to watch as you try each light to make sure they work. If these fail you won't be able to signal or use your headlights and these can cause accidents. It may be possible the fuse needs replacing so check that before replacing the lights.
Keep a store of emergency equipment
Having a store of emergency equipment is always useful if you happen to breakdown. Aim to have equipment like a phone, spare tyre and emergency tools like flashlight, screwdriver, spanner etc. you may also want to get a reflective warning triangle (mandatory in EU member states), fire extinguisher and medical kit.
I hope these tips help you get prepared for your road trip. Have fun!