– June 2016
The School holidays are almost here, which means many people in the UK will be taking a holiday, and this could involve driving long distances.
A few simple checks before leaving home may save problems later in the journey.
In case of journey delays, don’t forget to take some drinks and snacks for the kids and of course some games suitable for the car to keep them occupied!
- Check that brake, power steering fluid, oil and coolant/anti-freeze levels are up to the mark.
- (Coolant/anti-freeze is important all year round as it contains additives that can help prevent corrosion and it also improves summer cooling too).
- Clean the windscreen inside and out, windows, door and interior mirrors.
- Fill the windscreen-washer bottle with a screenwash to help clear traffic film and dead insects.
- Check the tread depth on your tyres, the minimum legal requirement in the UK is 1.6mm but it is better to have at least 3mm before setting off on a long journey. If in doubt, ask your local garage to check your tyres.
- Check and adjust tyre pressures if necessary- a car full of passengers and luggage will probably need a different tyre pressure than your normal day to day use.
- The correct pressures will be given in your cars handbook.
- Check overall tyre condition too; if you find any bulges or cuts, this is a safety issue and the tyre needs replacing, look out for cracking too as this could be an indication the tyre is not performing at its optimum so may need changing.
- Don’t forget to also check the spare tyre for condition, tread and check it has the correct tyre pressure in case it needs fitting on your car while you are away.
- Check you have a jack and wheel brace and if you have locking nuts that you have the key. Keep the locking wheel nut key in your car at all times incase the tyre needs changing.
- Check you can remember how to change the wheel if necessary, but ONLY ever change a tyre if the location you are in is suitable and safe.
- Don’t drive for more than two and a half hours without a break – use your judgement! If you feel tired STOP and take a break. You could also consider staying over-night on your route if your journey is particularly long.
- Several short twenty minute stops are better than one long one, so plan your stops as well as the route you are going to take.
- A pair of sunglasses may be useful in bright conditions so have a pair handy in case you need them.
- KEEPING COOL
- If you park in the sun, using a windscreen shade and opening the doors and windows as soon as you get back to it will help cool the interior.
- Leaving the windows open while you drive out of the car park may lower the inside temperature by several degrees, but don’t forget to close the windows before putting the air conditioning on if you have it.
- Recycling the air in the car will cool it quicker. Once the air has cooled the inside of the car, you may be able to turn it down or off, as running the air conditioning all the time can affect your fuel economy.
IF DRIVING ABROAD
- Different countries have different rules so you need to look up the rules for the country you will be driving in when you reach your destination. If you are driving through other countries to reach your destination, don’t forget to check the rules for these countries too.
- The AA website provides comprehensive advice for driving abroad and is well worth taking a look at!
Hope the guide is of use.
Here at Bespoke Wheels, Warwick, we’re happy to check your tyres and correct your tyre pressures before you travel for free and provide any advice we can.
Happy holidays and safe driving!