If your family, like many families, will be heading out on the road this year to see friends and relatives during the holiday season, you should make sure you’re putting safety first and ensuring that your vehicle is travel ready.
Tasks such as a check up and vehicle repairs are especially important when taking long trips on unfamiliar territory. Because of this, we’ve put together some pre-travel road tips that can help to make your journey a safe and memorable one.
Essential checks on your car
Making sure your car is ready for the road is essential and there are number of checks you can do yourself before setting off, such as:
- Check your coolant levels - Coolant and antifreeze protect your engine from extreme cold temperatures as well as the prospect of overheating. This helps to avoid breakdowns, so make sure your levels are between the min and max lines.
- Check your dipstick for oil - Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. It provides a lubricant for the moving parts inside the engine, while cooling and cleaning these parts to ensure your car runs smoothly.
- Check your tyre pressure - This is important for prolonging the life of your tyres. Take a look at your vehicle handbook for your recommended front and rear tyre pressure. While here, check for tyre cracking and bulging.
- Make sure all your lights work - You’ll need some help with this one but make sure all your lights are working, including headlamps, brake lights, reverse lights, indicators and any internal lights.
- Check windscreen and wiper blades - As you can never completely trust the UK weather it’s a good idea to have an effective set of windscreen wipers to ensure you can see the road clearly. Don’t neglect these wipers just because you’re expecting good weather...
You also need to check your windscreen for cracks and damages. If you notice a small chip on the windscreen, don’t ignore it - this could grow into something a lot more serious. A crack which is 41mm in length can see your vehicle fail its MOT. If yours is due, you can get an MOT on Halfords just by purchasing an item in store from now until October 14th.
Don’t travel too long a distance each day
Depending on how long your route is, and the weather conditions, you’ll want to see how long you can travel between stops. Planning a pit stop every two or three hours is a good idea - get out of the car, have a stretch, move around and clear your head. This avoids tiredness and reduces the risks of a loss of concentration.
Besides, stopping once in a while allows you to take a look around and enjoy the trip a little more.
Create the right car environment
Create the right environment for the driver and all passengers by ensuring your seats are adjusted to the right position, making it comfortable for a long journey. Fit your mobile phone or Satnav device into a hands-free dash and position it properly so you can see it easily. Have some entertainment on hand for the kids - movies, audiobooks, games or even something as simple as a colouring book will help to keep them amused and occupied.
Think about food and water
Packing food and drink for the trip will help keep the driver awake and alert at all times. Easy and convenient foods such as nuts and crisps are good options as they won’t go bad or begin to smell. Grapes, carrots or celery are also good as they can be placed in resealable containers.
If you have any doubts about your car before leaving for your trip, take it to a trained technician for peace of mind.
© Benjamin Campbell 2018