Preparing Your Car For A Long Journey
Going away for a holiday is always something to look forward to, yet actually getting there could be an arduous task if the correct planning is not initiated, especially when it comes to your car. Here are a few top tips you can use to ensure that your car is safe and prepared for the journey ahead.
As a driver, you hold the responsibility of making sure your vehicle is roadworthy, which means it is safe to drive on the roads. In most of the modern cars, many mechanical parts will be sealed, which means that only qualified mechanics are able to check. If you plan on travelling on a weekend and need expert car advice then contact us as we are one of only a few Kettering garages open Saturday. Yet there are a few basic checks that should be done before any trip.
1. Check On The Engine Oil
Engine oil is what keeps your engine lubricated, so it can operate efficiently. Check on your oil levels, especially before you are about to embark on a journey, to ensure the oil is at the right level.
The handbook that came with your car will give you advice on checking on the oil levels as well as how to top up when necessary. You also need to ensure you are using the right oil type suited to your vehicle, as the wrong oil might cause damages to the engine, increase your fuel consumption, and might affect your vehicle warranty. It is also important that you do not overfill the oil as this can result in additional emissions and damages to the engines.
2. Check The Engine Coolant
Engine coolant is a combination of water and anti-freeze, which performs the role of stopping overheating of an engine. It is important to check on these levels before your long journey.
The tyres on your car are essential to the safety of your car. Incorrectly inflated or damaged tyres might result in a blow-out or lose their grip on the surface of the road which may result in an accident.
Ensure that the tyres on your car are fitted correctly and they are inflated to the right pressure. You can use a pressure gauge for tyres when they are cold to ensure the pressure is matching up to what is provided in the handbook for your vehicle.
Tread on your tyres should have a minimum measurement of 1.6mm over the central ¾ of each tyre. Check for any damages to your tyres that may cause them to be unsafe, like cuts, bulges, stones, etc. If you are stopped using worn or faulty tyres you could face a fine of as much as £2500, points placed on your license or even driving disqualification.
Excessive or uneven tyre wear might mean there are faults with the steering, tyres, brakes, suspension, wheel balance or wheel alignment. It is also important to use tyres which are adapted specifically for different types of weather conditions:
– Winter tyres are regarded as more efficient than the summer tyre when it comes to grip and braking when the temperature drops below 7°C. You will need to change the tyres when the temperature rises above this.
– The all-season tyres fall between the summer and winter tyre and are designed to operate in summer and low temperatures.
Check On The Windows And Windscreens
Keep the windows and windscreen on your car clear and clean. Windscreens are susceptible to damages from stone chips. An area that is damaged that measures more than 10mm across, that is immediately in the vision of the driver in the front seat will fail the MOT tests as it is blocking your view. The crack should be repaired, or you may even need to replace your windscreen.