We all know the importance of good car maintenance, and there are lots of little checks you need to carry out when regularly using your car. However, when you’re planning a long journey, these checks become even more important, as the added strain on your car can cause a breakdown, and when you’re travelling on big roads such as the M5 this can be particularly inconvenient. When you’re planning a long journey from Worcester, whether it’s for business or pleasure, here are some checks you should carry out.
A flat tyre can soon cut your journey short, so make sure you check the following:
- Tread – needs to be at least 1.6mm on a car
- Tyre pressure – check your manual to find the right PSI
- Look for signs of wear and tear
- Ensure you have a spare tyre and toolkit including jack
If your tyres are starting to look worn or damaged, don’t wait until they’re at the legal tread limit. Poor tyre quality can slow down your braking or even invalidate your insurance, and tyres are checked during your MOT, so need to be in good condition. You should also check your tracking, as this can help you control your car.
Oil and water
Check all your fluids before you leave on a long journey. Running out of coolant can mean a costly callout to a breakdown service, while running out of oil can cause damage to your engine. You should also check little things like wiper fluid levels, as if you’re travelling to a remote area and run out, it’s annoying to have to drive around looking for a garage. Screen wash is also a legal requirement when you drive, so make sure you check it regularly.
Many people have attachments on their cars, from roof racks to trailers, so make sure they’re properly fitted and secure. Towbars should ideally be fitted by professionals, as this will ensure they can carry the maximum load and don’t fail when you reach high speeds.
Check your lights
Many of us don’t bother to check our lights until other drivers start flashing us, but lights are essential for keeping you safe. From indicating to being able to see on dark roads, you should ensure all your lights are in working order. Either get a friend to check your lights as you examine them or turn on your hazards and walk around the car, checking each one. Luckily, lights are fairly cheap and easy to replace, just visit your local garage.
Stock up on essentials
From a sudden snowstorm to an accident, it’s important to ensure you have everything you need for a long journey. Keep a first aid kit, torch, and multi-tool in your car, as well as bottled water and snacks. This will ensure you’re ready for any of the worst of the Midlands traffic.