Driving long distance can be daunting, especially when it’s across a different country! We know that many people will be driving abroad this summer and it is essential that your car is in top shape both before and during your travels. The last thing you want during your road trip is for your car to give up, leaving you stranded and aimlessly waiting for help.
Road Worthy Tyres
Tyres are single-handedly the most important thing to check as they are the only part of your vehicle that will come in contact with the roads. It is common for punctures and bulges to occur if a lot of distance is covered. You may also come across some alignment issues with your wheels which can cause excessive wear and further problems for your vehicle. You should always get your tyres looked at before setting off and keep an eye on them on the road. On top of this, your tyre pressure warning light will come on if the car senses that they are under-inflated.
Seatbelts for Safety
By law you must ensure the seatbelts in your car are fully functional and passengers must wear their seatbelt when in the vehicle. Seatbelts are vital in protecting you and your passengers in case of an unlikely accident and are just as important as any other part of your vehicle. After a very long time your seatbelts may start to fray or struggle to plug into place then you will need to get then replaced. Even if your car is still fairly new and you do not need to replace the belts, it is still worth giving them a quick check every now and then just to be sure.
Don’t Let the Battery Die
Particularly important for less frequent drivers, you should always give your car a good run out before driving it anywhere long distance. You should also consider checking the battery itself if it is quite an old one, in case it is on its way out. There is nothing worse than setting off only to find your battery is dead and you can’t go anywhere. You would either need to get it looked at by a mechanic or jump start the car yourself, which is never ideal and can waste a lot of your precious time.
In order to diagnose any issues before setting off, a test drive is always worth it. Take your car for a drive around your local area and listen out for anything that doesn’t sound right. The most common faults you will find will be within your engine, tyres and possibly even your clutch, if the vehicle is old. If you sense that something isn’t right then take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible so that the problems can be resolved before setting off.
Have Emergency Equipment
If the unexpected were to happen, are you prepared? Of course, we never plan to run into these issues, but sometimes it happens to the best of us. The essentials I would recommend include a phone, first aid kit, spare tyre and warning triangle. Depending on the country you are travelling to you may also require a few other tools. Be as prepared as you can, and you can’t go far wrong!