Top tips on preparing your car for a long journey

Timothy Alcock December 15, 2011 0

A guide to checking your car maintenance before travel.

Some hints and tips about what to do if you are planning to take a long distance journey in your car.

You may think that preparing yourself for a long distance journey is tough enough but it is important that you prepare your car for the trip ahead.

Many breakdowns on motorways and highways are a result of poor car maintenance, so to save you taking a trip with the breakdown truck, there are certain things that you can do to prevent the condition of your car being the causing factor of the problem.

Tyre pressure is important – flat tyres can lead to accidents since they affect the steering and braking. Deflated tyres also cause the tread to wear down quickly and the pressure is affected by the weight inside the car. Make sure you have a spare tyre in the boot -whilst it is not a legal requirement it is still best if you carry one for those emergency times.

You also need to ensure that the tyre tread is at least 1.6mm as this is a legal requirement, although the recommended tread is 3mm. A slim tyre tread can affect the handling of your car and also increases your braking distance, especially in wet weather conditions. If you are unlucky enough to have to change your tyre en-route make sure that the tread is above the legal requirement, it may be a spare but the law still applies.

Make sure you check the engine is ticking properly and that you have ample water in the tank. You also should have ample oil and screen wash under the bonnet.

Make sure that your car is functioning properly, check the windscreen wipers are in order and that the blades don’t need replacing. It’s a good idea to check all of the lights on the car as it is a requirement of the law to have clean and functioning lights, so if you have a bulb out, get it fixed before you travel.