Is your car ready for a road trip?

Is your car ready for a road trip? 2nd July 2014

The weather is hotting up and it isn't long until the kids break up from school and so it is the perfect time of year to go on a road trip in the UK. Yet the last thing you want is for your car to break down on the road while you are on your travels. For this reason, check your car over before you set off to make sure it is in good shape.

It may be worth having an expert look over your car to make sure everything is in working order. ATS Euromaster offer a free Vehicle Health Check for just this reason. You could also book a Summer Vehicle Inspection to make sure your car is in top condition for long journeys. This service includes honest expert advice as well as a litre of oil, which can be used to top up your tank with the remainder for you to take away on your journey in case you need it.

Even so, there may be a few problems you may be able to spot even before you have taken your car for a health check. Be aware of the kind of problems you could face.

Of course, one of the first things to look at is the condition of your tyres; since this is the only part of your car that comes into contact with the road it is imperative that these are in good condition. If your tyres are particularly worn out then you could run the risk of a blowout, which would put a quick stop to your journey. Before you get to this stage, worn or damaged tyres will affect your handling and stopping distances too.

Check your air pressure and top up if need be as this will save on fuel and reduce the amount of stress on your tyres. Once filled, keep an eye on air pressure for the days following as quick depreciation could indicate you have a puncture. Look over the condition of your tyres too and watch out for lumps, bulges and tears. Also check the tread depth in the central three quarters of your tyres to make sure it meets legal requirements. If you notice these problems then you will need to replace your tyres.

Another vital part to keep an eye on is the condition of your engine as, if allowed to overheat, this could leave you with a big bill. Should you have noticed your temperature gauge creeping up to unusually high levels when you have been driving then this suggests that there is a problem in your system that means your engine isn't being cooled properly. Whether this is simply low coolant levels or a fault in the system, it is an issue that you will need to fix quickly.

Thankfully, there are some things you can check which are fairly quick to sort out and you can easily do this yourself. Making sure your fluid levels are up to scratch is an example of this. Before going on any long journey, check your oil levels and refill as appropriate. Additionally, it is worth inspecting how much washer fluid and coolant you have while you are there.

Posted by Danielle Barge