The sun will soon be shining and the beauty of the coastlines will be calling. So what do you need to consider when preparing your car for a stress-free road trip?
Here we run through everything you need to know to get your car staycation ready this summer with our essential car checks.
Road Trip Car Prep Essentials
Preparing your car for a road trip that involves hundreds of miles and a fair few hours spent on the road, will involve some careful car check preparation.
From making sure your car is functioning at its best to save on fuel, or to taking measures to avoid unnecessary breakdowns along the way – a long drive can be part of the road trip fun!
Let’s not stop at the exterior car checks. We also take a look at the necessary car interior steps to take to prepare your car for a family with demanding journey expectations!
Get Your Car Ready for the Long-Haul
Here are our top tips for making sure your car is ready for a long, safe drive – so that you can get to your destination and enjoy your holiday in comfort, without any car dramas.
Here are 5 Essential Car Checks to make before setting off on your next long drive.
ENGINE OIL LEVEL
To avoid an unnecessary breakdown, always make some essential maintenance checks – the first being your engine oil. Turn off your car and make sure the car engine has fully cooled for at least an hour before checking your levels with your car’s dipstick. If necessary, top up before setting off with the correct oil for your car – which you should double-check for suitability in your car’s manual. Failing to check this could cause severe engine damage.
Check your tyres are free from damage and teas caused by nails or other dangerous objects on road surfaces. Making sure tyres have suitable treed is also essential, to avoid a flat tyre or dangerous tyre blow out when travelling at high speed that is typical of motorway driving. Minimum rubber thickness should always be 1.6mm, or a deeper treed for winter season road trips to allow for additional grip on roads during harsher elements. Finally, make sure your car’s tyre pressure is correct according to your car’s manual – this will help your car perform at its best and also reduce waste fuel consumption.
WINDOW SCREEN CARE
Examining your window wiper blades is a small but important car check. It is a particularly important task during the summer months when driving in direct sunlight, as a clean windscreen is necessary to avoid hindering your sight. If you spot splits or cracks in the blade, replace them urgently. Check your washer fluid and top up your screenwash to help avoid glares too! Pick one up some pre-mixed screen-wash formula from a petrol station on route if you run out, don’t suffer driving through a mucky screen. Finally, if you notice a chip or are unlucky enough to gain one when driving during your road trip, seek assistance to fix the window screen chip as soon as possible, to avoid a crack and weak window screen during a collision.
During lovely hot summer days, your car will need efficient amounts of coolant to keep the engine running smoothly, avoid overheating and avoid breakdowns. Although this is a sealed system you should always double-check your dashboard for signals of low coolant, especially before or during a long journey.
If you’re lucky enough to be setting off on your staycation in beautiful sunny weather, making sure your air conditioning is functioning correctly is essential in 30c heat. You may need a regular service if you are worried your air-con does not feel cool enough, which indicates attention is needed and a check carried out by a car repair technician to resolve.
Tops 5 Car Interiors Organisation Tips
Preparing your car interiors with all the gadgets and gizmos to keep you and your passengers comfortable and entertained is key to a great road trip. Particularly, if you have a family of little ones or teens’ in tow – kitting your interiors out will make a huge difference to your long journey.
Here are some handy tips to keep your car interiors organised for longer:
- Getting your car cleaned inside as well as out, is the best way to make your car feel clutter-free, clean and enjoyable for a long journey. Discard empty bottles and snack wrappers, then clean down your surfaces to get your road trip off to the right start.
- Organise your essentials into personal storage pods and trays to stow individual items – such as gadgets, drinks, baby wipes, etc. depending on who is sitting in each space. Hanging foldable organisers are available online, so that you can purchase specific sizes for your requirements.
- Don’t forget your chargers! In-car charging pads are a great choice for drivers and front-seat passengers, but make sure you’re all wired up for the tablets and iPads in the back too…
- Sunglasses and window sunscreens are great for summer months when you’re driving on long stretches of road in the same direction, making the sun’s glare unavoidable.
Post Road Trip Car Checks!
It’s always best to declutter, clean, and check your car over for any damage once you are home too.
It is more inevitable that your car may have picked up a few stretches when doing long drives at high speeds, especially along country lanes or rugged coastal paths.
Any scratches, dents, or bumps are easily resolved with some expert assistance. Helping you to keep hold of that holiday feeling a little bit longer!