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10 Car Checks to Make Before a Long Journey

With the warmer months upon us, many of us will be getting ready for trips to the seaside or visits to relatives. In the same way that you need to pack a suitcase before a trip, there are certain things your car will need, such as topped up oil and water, to ensure a stress-free drive.

The following checks will make sure your car is ready for a long journey:

Tyres

Your tyres are responsible for carrying you to your destination smoothly and safely. Are the tyres pumped up? Are they the correct pressure? Are there any unusual lumps and bumps? No-one likes changing a wheel on the side of the road, so checking tyres beforehand reduces the risk.  

Oil

Your vehicle’s engine needs oil in order to run smoothly and reduce friction, so before a long journey, you should check that there is enough oil and that it is not contaminated. To check the oil level, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a lint-free cloth. Put the stick back into the pipe and then pull it out again – if the oil sits between the two notches at the end of the stick, there is enough oil.

Water

While you are under the bonnet checking the oil, take a look at the coolant reservoir to check that the water level is correct. If the water is below the “min” marking, simply top up with water as needed.

Windscreen Wipers

If it starts to rain on our journey, it’s important that your windscreen wipers are fully functional. Examine your wiper blades before setting off – if they are worn out or squeaking constantly on the windscreen, it’s time to replace them. 

Mirrors

Are the mirrors set to your eye level? Check each mirror and adjust them before setting off, rather than trying to fix them (dangerously) while driving!

Lights

Not only is a missing headlight or brake light dangerous, but it is also illegal. Check that all your lights are working and replace any bulbs before setting off on your journey.

Basic toolkit

Unfortunately, you never know when you are going to break down, even with the most detailed checks before your journey. This is why it’s important to keep a few tools in the boot in case you end up stranded on the side of the road. A jack, a wrench, pliers, screwdrivers, cable ties, a bottle of water and a torch are just a few things that might make life easier on the road.

Drinks and snacks

It’s important to stay hydrated on your journey. If you pack your own drinks and snacks, not only will you save money at the service station, but you will also be prepared in case of a breakdown. 

The route

Double check your route, and if you have a sat nav, make sure to set the destination before leaving.

Fuel stops

If it’s an especially long journey, the chances are you will need to stop for fuel along the way. Be prepared for this by looking up petrol stations on a map beforehand, so that you do not get caught out on the road.

If you make these 10 checks before your long journey, your car will be more than ready for the trip! For more information or advice, please get in touch with the experts here at Express Service. 

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Published: 26/04/2016
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New Equipment

With new Delphi diagnostic equipment Express service can now read fault codes. read more