There’s nothing like a road trip, is there?
However, as exciting as a long drive to a faraway destination might be, there are a fair few things you need to take into account in order to remain as safe on the road as possible.
These are our top ten tips for ensuring every essential check is undertaken. Don’t hit the road before you’ve completed them all!
Obviously, you’ll need enough to get as far as possible, but start your journey planning by ensuring you know exactly what you have in the tank and how far it will get you.
Remember to plan fuel stops, too. Petrol Station Bingo isn’t fun!
Time to get your hands dirty.
Run the engine for a minute or two. Then, open the bonnet, remove the dip stick, give it a wipe with a clean cloth and re-insert it. When you pull it out again, the level should be between the minimum and maximum markers. If not, top it up (with the correct oil!).
The tyres on your vehicle are there to keep you safely on the road. So, double check the tread depth and general condition. If they look dodgy, get them checked out by a garage.
If they look good, just make sure they’re filled with enough air, as per the manufacturer’s recommendation (taking into account your load).
Even if the sun is beaming, this is a check you don’t want to miss. What if it starts pouring down during your journey and you discover that the wipers aren’t capable of clearing the windscreen?
Check their condition and test them with a windscreen wash.
Picture yourself travelling into oncoming sun with a dirty windscreen. You decided to give it a clean… but nothing happens.
This can result in a very risky, dangerous drive; you probably won’t be able to see a thing. That’s just one reason you should always top-up your washer fluid before a long journey.
The last thing you want is a blown head gasket during your trip (or ever, arguably).
To help avoid this, double-check your coolant level as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s low, go and buy yourself some coolant and top it up.
We’re not suggesting you inspect the vehicle’s wiring loom, but a check of the lights is absolutely worthwhile before you head out onto the open road – regardless of whether or not you’ll be driving in the dark.
Pay particular attention to the brake lights and indicators and make sure everything illuminates as intended.
When it comes to vehicle safety features, the brakes reign king.
With that in mind, give the brakes a good test before you set out on a long drive. Also, check the fluid level and if you don’t think they’ve been inspected for a while, ask a mechanic to check over the pads and discs.
Air conditioning systems in vehicles need regular maintenance and re-gassing. So, spend some time testing yours to make sure it’s blowing out ice cold air and no unpleasant smells.
Thankfully, a re-gas won’t cost you the earth and will be worth it for the comfort factor during a long drive in the summer.
A quick check of the vehicle’s exterior is a very good idea before a long journey.
Make sure there is no obvious damage that could cause problems, and have a quick look underneath to ensure there are no loose parts hanging where they shouldn’t.
There we go – that wasn’t too bad, was it?
The good news? You can now head out onto the open road with complete peace of mind! And if you require a hire vehicle for the task, just get in touch with Squab!