Preparing your car for a long journey
With the continuing ambiguity about whether we can travel internationally without significant quarantining, 2021 seems to be the year of road trips. As a result, rather than relying on an aeroplane, many drivers turn to their vehicles. We look at what you need to prepare to be safe on long journeys. The trick is preparation.
Check the battery
The most frequent cause of breakdowns is a problem with the battery. With many drivers' commutes on hold, many of us haven't driven as much as normal. As a result, the battery would not have been charged on a daily basis. Car batteries usually have a lifespan of five years. Temperature extremes (both cold and hot) put pressure on the battery's cells. You can purchase battery tests or just take your car to your nearest garage and get it checked. Then, you'll know it won't leave you stuck. If you're travelling in a caravan, make sure the leisure battery is in good working order.
Check your car’s fluid
Having your car serviced soon before going on a road trip will alleviate the stress that everything is in working order. If your annual servicing isn't scheduled at a good time, you can easily inspect your vehicle's fluids yourself. Oil is arguably the most essential of these. However, brake fluid and coolant are equally important. If you're not sure where these are, consult the vehicle's owner's manual.
Ensure tyres are inflated
A flat tyre will completely derail your day. Having tyres that are well inflated and have more tread depth than the legal 1.6mm will help with this. Correctly filled tyres will not only save you money on gas, but they will also last longer and are more resistant to punctures. Check the age of your tyres too. Four digits can be found in a panel on the tyre which show the tyre's production week and year. 3417 denotes the 34th week of 2017. Examine caravan and motorhome tyres for cracks created by ageing.
Prepare for breakdowns
You never know what could happen whilst on a long journey, so having a breakdown kit in the car is a good idea. If you're stuck on the side of the road in hot weather, a bottle of water might save people from being thirsty. In an emergency, it may even be used to top off coolant. Bringing reflective jackets for those in the vehicle will help keep everyone safe if you have to wait for assistance. If your battery does go down, a series of jump leads will be able to start your engine.
Need a new car to take on long trips?
Not to worry, check out one of our cars at auction. It’s easy to sign up, and bidding can all be done online. You’ll have to pick up the car in person though! Any other questions, get in contact with us.