5 things to do before you take a long car journey this summer
The arrival of summer means it’s finally holiday time for many of us, and whether you’re staying in the UK, or taking your car on a ferry to explore Europe, your break will no doubt involve a long time behind the wheel. While many of us are preoccupied with entertaining the kids and finding the right route, it’s essential to also take some time to get your car ready for a long journey. Many breakdowns happen to tourists due to poor maintenance, which is worse when you’re in an unfamiliar area, and they can often be avoided by simply making a few checks before you head off. Here are some tips to get your car road trip ready.
1. Make sure your MOT is up to date
It’s surprising how many people let their MOT lapse, but having it carried out annually is not just a legal requirement, it’s also one of the best ways to ensure your car is safe. Check that your MOT isn’t going to run out halfway through your holiday, especially if you’re going on an extended break.
2. Carry out some basic checks
You don’t have to be technically minded to carry out basic checks on your car. Some things to look for include
- Tyres – Check the pressure and the tread
- Brakes – When you’re on an isolated road, check your brakes are responsive
- Lights – Switch on your hazards and walk around your car, ensuring all lights are working
These are all simple things to check but can keep your car safe when you have a long journey ahead.
3. Top up fluids
From antifreeze to oil, check all the fluids under your car’s bonnet. It’s surprising how many breakdowns happen simply because the oil has run out or something that could have been easily avoided. It takes all of 10 minutes to check your fluid levels, and your owner’s manual should have the instructions.
4. Load your car safely
When your car is full of suitcases and equipment for the kids, it’s so easy to overload it, which can damage your suspension and make it harder to brake. Many people fit towbars so that they can use trailers for long journeys, or you could look at options such as roof or bike racks which help you carry excess loads safely.
5. Get breakdown cover
It’s surprising how many people neglect to get breakdown cover, often because they think they can easily just sign up when they need it. But taking out breakdown cover is often much cheaper than paying for it by the road and means you’re more likely to get a quick service. If you’re driving abroad, make sure you are covered for the countries that you’re visiting.
Whether you need a repair or some general servicing, visit Lowes Garage at Unit 6, Weir Lane, Venture Business Park, Worcester, WR2 4AY.