Before you set off on a big trip it’s worth asking yourself: can I share the driving responsibilities with somebody else and who is responsible for the car if the worst should happen?
Carry out pre-road trip car maintenance checks
It’s crucial to take time to give your car the once-over before you hit the road. It’s particularly important to take seasonal weather into account; long distances and extra weight from luggage and passengers can put a bigger strain on your car.
There are several maintenance checks you can do yourself, including:
- Oil: Your car will break down if the engine doesn’t get enough lubrication, so do the dipstick test. Make sure the oil level is between the minimum and maximum markers.
- Coolant: On a hot day, coolant removes excessive heat from your engine – essential if you’re stuck in traffic. On a cold one, it’s just as important because it also prevents the water from freezing.
- Tyre pressure and tread depth: Your tyres should be inflated to the correct pressure, allowing for heavy suitcases in the back. Most vehicles have a sticker which indicates minimum tyre pressures and the suggested pressures for heavy loads. To check the tread depth, insert a 20p coin into the tread grooves on the tyre. If you can’t see the outer band of the coin face, your tyres are above the legal limit (1.6mm). You face a £2,500 fine for each illegal tyre.
- Lights: Defective lights affect road safety as they make you less visible to other road users, so make sure they’re all in full working order. Ask a family member or neighbour to check the back lights for you. You may also require headlight beam deflectors for driving in Europe unless your vehicle has a built-in beam adjustment setting.
- Washer fluid: Keeping your window clean will allow you to keep an eye on any hazards on your trip. If washer fluid levels are low, make sure you top them up before setting off. For winter driving, ensure correct dilution to prevent freezing.
If there are any existing issues with the car, bring it down to Barrowford MOT to get these resolved – you don’t want to break down miles from home because of a minor problem that could have been fixed at your local garage with us. We will take care of everything for you.
Also make sure your car’s MOT is valid for the entirety of your road trip. For extra peace of mind, you could book your car in for a service with us before you travel. Call 01282 696351 and get booked in.
Don’t forget breakdown cover
If you don’t already have breakdown cover in place, organise it before you go.