Summer is finally here and you’ve got everything ready to go – sun cream, beach towel etc – but what about your car?
Your family may be raring to go, but if something goes wrong with your trusty wagon, hopes of sunbathing on a white sandy beach could be replaced with the reality of sitting on the hard shoulder waiting for a road-side assistance van. Nobody wants to have their summer holidays ruined, so before you set off on a long journey, follow our advice and all should go swimmingly.
For starters, make sure all windows are clean and damage free; there’s nothing more irritating than a smeary windscreen and even a seemingly tiny stone chip in the glass can affect your visibility, so it’s best to get that sorted out before you head off. Are the wipers in good condition? To keep your view crystal clear, ensure they are not torn and top off your washer solvent while you’re there too.
Legally, all lights must be clear and working, so ask somebody to walk around the car and check them all while you test them.
Ok, so we’ve made sure you can see where you’re going but do you *know* where you’re going? Sat Navs can be wonderful things but it’s a good idea to plan your journey on a traditional map too just in case, as well as having an alternative route in mind.
Moving onto the more technical things; your car’s brakes should not feel soft or spongy, engine belts should not be worn out or too loose and we recommend bringing a hose patch kit along with you. Ensure all oils and fluids have been filled to the recommended level and remember to check each tyre for damage, including the spare; if you are planning to drive at high speed for most of the trip you might want to consider a little extra inflation.
Perhaps the best tip we have to offer is taking your car for a little test drive prior to the main journey. Now, it’s important that you really focus on the car for this and take note of any little thing that might be significant. Turn off the radio and tune into the sounds and movement around you. Is there any pulling? Can you hear a grinding or moaning coming from the wheels? Are your headlights flickering at idle? These are all things that need to be fixed before you can even think about embarking on a lengthy journey.
So, the vehicle has at long last been declared safe to drive, you have evenly distributed your luggage throughout the car and you can finally set off, right? Well, as long your driving position has been set up to achieve ultimate comfort levels (don’t forget to line up the widest part of your head restraint with the top of your ears), you have planned in plenty of rest breaks, the air conditioning is set up and everyone has plenty of snacks to keep them going, we’d say you’re ready to hit the road!
Oh, one last thing, you do have an emergency kit in the glove box don’t you? Wonderful, now go enjoy your holiday and soak up that Summer sun!
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