With summer having officially arrived, it’s a great time to let go, see the country and make some incredible memories with friends and family. Whether you’re planning to head away for a short break or just get out on the road and enjoy the lush weather, before you load up and set off, make sure your car is ready for long-distance travel with these road trip tips.
1. CHECK TYRES
Tyres are one the most important things that you should check. Ensuring that your tyres are inflated to the right pressure always matters, but in the summer it matters even more. An underinflated tyre will run hotter and as the temperature of the tyre increases faster during the hot summer days, the heated air inside expands and the pressure rises quickly, which could put your car at risk of a blowout.
2. CHECK OR CHANGE THE OIL
If you’re not ready for an oil change, take out the dipstick and see if you need to add oil. The more frequently you change your oil, the more beneficial to your car's engine and performance.
Liquid cooling often referred to as antifreeze, is designed to reduce the chances of your engine overheating and also protects your engine from freezing. Pop open your bonnet, locate the coolant reservoir, and if low, top it up, but make sure you get the right type of coloured fluid – your local dealer or car spares shop will be able to help.
4. WINDSCREEN WIPERS
Your windscreen wipers should always be operational, even in the summer. Check your windscreen washer fluid levels and top up if necessary. Adjust your windscreen washer jets so that they are directing screen wash at the windscreen. If your windscreen wipers themselves smear water or are spitting water, they’ll need replacing.
5. AIR CONDITIONING
Be sure that your air conditioning is working properly before you set off as it is essential in the peak of summer. If the gas in your air conditioning system leaks and gets too low, the air conditioning will blow warm instead of cold and make sure that your cabin air filter is clean, as this will maximise airflow.
Brake lights, turn signals, high and low beams, ensure that you test them all in the dark.
It is crucially important to ensure that you fill your brake fluid and check your brake pads, especially if you’re taking a trip up to the peaks. You don’t want to lose those brakes on a steep downhill drive.
8. LOAD UP SAFELY
How you load and how much you load is important as there are limits on how much your vehicle can carry. Overloading your vehicle can put additional strain on it, make it difficult to handle and even break your suspension. Be sure to place the heaviest items low and towards the middle of your vehicle and if using a roof rack, check how much weight you can place up there.