Making a long journey can take its toll on your vehicle. In the summer months many people go away and take their cars with them, perhaps for a holiday in the UK, or maybe a drive around Europe. If this is what you are planning to do then it is essential that you prepare your vehicle adequately. Carrying out a few simple checks and making sure everything is OK will help prevent unwanted breakdowns or expensive bills on your return. This article aims to give you a step by step guide in how what to check and how to do so.
Making sure that your tyres are in full working order is crucial. You should be looking for tyre tread and also tyre pressure. Blow outs are often cause by tyres that have worn down too far and then tipped over the edge by long motorway drives. This is not a pleasant experience and can be avoided by having a good look at your tyres before you leave home. Run your fingers around the tyres to make sure the tread is even across the whole tyre. Then pop down to your local garage and make sure they are pumped up to the correct pressure in line with the manufacturers specifications.
If your car is prone to burning oil, or has a small oil leak it could end up with some nasty damage should you let the oil levels get too low. Check the oil level before you leave and make sure you have a supply of oil with you on your journey. It’s also worth checking underneath the car for signs of leakages. If you are going on a particularly long drive, it’s worth checking your oil at regular intervals just to make sure everything is OK.
As with the oil levels, it’s very important that you check the level of cooling fluid in your car before you leave. Make sure that the level is sitting somewhere between the minimum and maximum level on the container. Also check underneath the car for tell tale signs of leakages (small puddles etc) as this could cause significant problems on a long drive. The most common problem effecting long journeys is overheating. In fact, you will probably see quite a few overheated cars at the side of the road during the summer months. Always carry a supply of water with you, just in case you need to top of the level.
Although these checks are usually enough, it is always worth making sure that your car has been serviced recently. This should give you complete peace of mind knowing that the brakes, head gasket, exhaust etc are all in working order. Another point to consider is breakdown cover, well worth having should your car let you down 200 miles from home…that’s speaking from experience!
Jon Quinton works for Ian Allan Ford who specialise in servicing, repairs and making sure your car runs as well as it should do at all times!
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