Planning on a staycation this summer? Or maybe you have a special day out on the road planned? When making a long journey, it’s always best to ensure your vehicle is healthy and ready to go beforehand to avoid any disruption to your break. Take a look through our pre-journey essential checks to ensure a smooth journey this summer:
Having the correct tyre pressure is essential to ensuring your vehicle’s safety and performance. It impacts how your car brakes, grips the road and the way it steers. It also effects your vehicle’s fuel consumption. If your vehicle is loaded, which it likely is on a road trip, it is even more important to consider tyre pressures. You can usually find the correct pressures for your vehicle on your fuel cap or your driver door.
Before heading out on the road, check that your tyre treads have a minimum depth of 1.6mm across the central three quarters using a measure gauge. It is illegal for your tyres to be any lower than 1.6mm and you could be fined should you be pulled over. In winter is advisable to have at least 3mm of tread on your tyres.
Windscreen Wipers and Screen Wash
A dirty windscreen can be a pain when driving in the summer. Even worse is finding out you have no screen wash left when you go to clear it! It’s always best to ensure this is topped up sufficiently so you can keep your screen clear throughout your journey. Also check your wipers for wear and tear and replace them should you need to. Chips and cracks in a windscreen should always be looked at as soon as possible. Although it may look small, one bump in the road can turn it into something much bigger if left.
Oil is so important for a smooth running engine. Running out of oil on a long journey is costly in both time and money – the last thing you need when you were looking forward to some time away from home! Depending on the age of your vehicle, you can check the oil level by using your car’s computer to monitor levels on the dashboard or use a dipstick to check that it hasn’t gone below the minimum level.
Before a long journey is a good time to check your headlights, indicators and brake lights. They are an essential for safe travel not just to help you see clearly but that other road users can see you too! This is an easy check when you have a helper to give you the thumbs up or down on whether a light you’re testing is doing its job.
Maybe an obvious check but topping up your fuel at the beginning of a journey could save time and stress later on. Knowing you have a full tank will make your journey much more enjoyable and allow you to plan if you need to top up along the way. Similarly if you have an electric or plug-in hybrid, make sure your vehicle is fully charged before setting off.
Emergency Car Kit
Be sure to pack anything you might find useful in an emergency. A red warning triangle is highly recommended but also things for yourself should you be waiting around for a while. Snacks and some spare clothes are also good to keep you going in case there is a long wait.
Book Your Service
Ultimately, the best way to ensure your vehicle is ready for a long journey is to have it regularly serviced. Having a professional do these essential checks means you’ve done everything you can to keep it running smoothly for your summer staycation.