If you’re anything like us you’ll be banking on the car working properly and safely this summer, not only for days out, but for your summer holiday! I’ve been sent a list of five things you need to check for trouble-free summer motoring and believe you me, having broken down the day before we were due to go on our summer holiday last year its worth reading this and taking on board some of the advice!
First, why not just take your car down to somewhere like Jennings Motor Group, to give it a free health check. You can sit and have a coffee while a qualified mechanic conducts a 20-minute check on your car.
If you’re short on time, however, you’ll want to check a few crucial things, especially if the car hasn’t been serviced recently. It’s worth ensuring that all fluid levels are okay and are topped up if low. Most importantly, check the oil and coolant levels. This will keep the engine cool, which is going to be especially important if you’re heading south to somewhere like France, or wherever else you’re heading. Believe it or not, even Scotland can get above zero in the summer months. It’s also worth making sure that the windscreen wash is topped up. Wherever you’re headed you’re going to encounter a few kamikaze flies.
On the subject of high temperatures, it’s also worth getting the air-con checked and re-charged if required. A discharged air-con unit is hopeless when you’ve got children complaining they are hot, especially whilst in the inevitable traffic jam you’re bound to encounter. The icy cool blast from a fully charged system can really help control everyones fraying tempers on a hot day.
Check that there’s plenty of life left in your tyres. I’ve sort of benchmarked the school summer holidays as the time when I replace mine. If you’ve been running winter tyres, get them swapped back to summer rubber. Its absolutely crucial to make sure there’s enough tread to get you there and back. Bare tyres are not only illegal, they’re prone to punctures and traction levels will be greatly reduced.
Having a first aid kit is never a bad idea, but an especially good one when you’re driving on unfamiliar roads where you are not aware of the local facilities. As a parent a First Aid kit is an essential part of motoring and it provides a great deal of peace of mind to know that there is always something there in an emergency.
Contact your Insurers!
Make sure you contact your insurance and breakdown suppliers to ensure you’ll be covered while abroad. Many companies offer a limited amount of cover per year while driving on the continent, but it’s worth double checking what is, and what is not, covered before you go. Don’t wait and panic if the worst happens. You might not be involved in an accident, but your car might be broken into and damaged. This happened to me once in Spain and it was quite tricky to sort out.
Once you’ve considered all that you should be well prepared for any long distance journey this summer in terms of the car. The next thing to worry about is keeping the kids amused in the car. Now that is quite a challenge!