Summer is finally, officially here and that can only mean one thing – road trips! I love going on a road trip, especially in the summer when I often find myself driving down country roads, sun shining, windows down and music up. This summer I’ll be driving more than ever as I no longer live in the same city as my family so BBQs and get togethers will mean I have to drive there (and no more bringing a pack of cider to share and drinking the lot myself. Boo.) and I now live further away from a beach which means seaside trips have become longer.
But I don’t mind any of that because I quite like driving – I’m just not sure my car feels the same way. Now that summer is here, and our cars will most likely be doing more mileage than they have done in the winter months, it’s important to check them thoroughly before any journey, and it’s important to look after them even when you’re not travelling. Here are some top tips for ensuring that your car is healthy enough to survive the summer:
Check your tyres – My driving instructor once told me that the tyres are the most important part of the car because they’re the only part that comes in to contact with the road. This is why it’s so important to check your tyres before any long road trip. To check your tyres yourself put a 20p coin into the lowest tread of your tyre. If you can see the outer rim your tyre is fine, if you can’t that means the tyre has under the legal tread depth of 1.6mm and needs to be changed. You should never drive on unsafe tyres!
Check fluid levels – Make sure that all of the fluids in your car are topped up. This includes engine oil, screen wash, and anti-freeze (engine coolant). Each fluid needs to be checked in a different way but all of them are located under the bonnet, and each has their own symbol to help you locate which compartment contains which fluid.
Get your car serviced regularly – I know it’s not the most fun aspect of life but getting your car serviced regularly is a necessity. Servicing keeps your car safe and functioning like it should be. Not only that but it minimises the risk of a breakdown on those long summer road trips (and let’s face it, nothing would ruin a road trip more than watching your car get towed away miles from home – or worse).
Book your MOT – If your car’s MOT is expiring soon book it in to get it done asap – preferably before a long journey. That way you can have peace of mind that your car is healthy before you set off. Those of you who live in the north – or who are passing through on your road trip – can visit Ossett Tyre House near Dewsbury to get affordable MOT packages, or book it online before you go.
*Bonus road trip tips*
-Carry an emergency kit in case of a breakdown: This should include things like jump leads, high vis vests and water.
-Get breakdown cover: Sometimes your car can seem healthy but it can still break down. Make sure you’re prepared in case this happens.
-Don’t overload your car before a long trip – If your car is too heavy steering becomes more difficult, which means you aren’t as in control of your car as you would be if it was lighter. A heavy car also means it takes longer to brake, which increases the risk of accidents.
Want to see more? You can follow me on social media: