It’s holiday season, and many of us are packing up our belongings and jetting off to far off places, or jumping in the car and taking a road trip. The prices of exotic holidays make many of us look closer to home for adventure. There are however a few necessary checks to do on your vehicle before you begin your journey. Taking good care of your car will enable you to travel much further without any major issues and safety problems.
The good thing is, you don’t have to visit your local garage to make these checks, you can easily do all of these from the comfort of your own driveway.
Check Your Oil
Oil is your car’s blood. It provides lubrication to the moving parts which lie inside your engine and therefore allows your vehicle to run efficiently and smoothly. If you set off on holiday without enough oil under the bonnet, you could be faced with a breakdown and an emergency trip to the garage.
You can check your engine oil quickly, by finding your dipstick and checking that the level of oil falls between the minimum and maximum levels indicated on the stick. If you must top up your oil, check your car’s manual to ensure you use the correct type of your vehicle otherwise you could cause further complications.
Both Antifreeze and Coolant perform an important role in the health of your vehicle. Antifreeze does exactly what you’d expect, and prevents the engine and other essential parts from freezing over in frigid temperatures. Coolant has the opposite effect and helps to keep your engine from overheating and burning out in the summer. As with checking your oil, consult your car manual and find the coolant and Antifreeze reservoirs and check if the level sits comfortably between the minimum and maximum level.
Tyre Tread and Pressure
Many countries around the world ask for a minimum legal tyre tread of 1.6mm. However, some countries have different regulations, some have none at all, so it’s worth checking before you decide to travel.
It is imperative to make sure that your tyre tread is at a safe, legal level. Otherwise, you could face a heavy fine and points on your license. It’s also an issue of safety because if your tires don’t have enough grip on the road, you could slide in wet conditions and have a serious incident.
Most tyres will have a tread wear indicator on the groove, meaning that to check your tyre tread you must see that the tread hasn’t worn down to the level of the indicator. If it has worn down too far, you may have to go out and buy new tyres. To find the correct tyres for your car, you may have to traipse around a multitude of stores and look at a host of brands.
Before you travel, you must check the tyre pressure of all of your tyre, including the spare tyre. Checking tyre pressure regularly can increase the life expectancy of your tyres and save you having to fork out so soon for a new set. It also provides a safer drive for you and your family during the holiday season. Under-inflated tyres can cause a multitude of problems, one of those being an increased chance of a blow out causing a dangerous, possibly life threatening incident. You can also lose grip on the road and be much more likely to skid out of control.
To check tyre pressure, consult your car manual and see what pressure is recommended for your front and rear tyres, then you can visit any fuel station and inflate your tyres there. Alternatively, if you have a tyre pressure gauge at home, you can inflate your tyres without visiting a garage. All you need to do is take off the dust cap insert the nozzle and inflate until your pressure gauge beeps.
There are a few different factors when it comes to tyre pressure. First of all, the tyre pressure can vary when you are commuting alone and when you have more than one person in the car. If you are going on holiday, it can also be affected by being full of luggage. These are all things to consider before measuring tyre pressure, as it is better to inflate your tyres when you are alone in the car.
Hopefully these these tips will help you to increase the longevity of your vehicle, why not check out 5 car care essentials for new drivers for more inspiration on keeping your vehicle in tip top condition.