7 Essential Car Care Checks for Family Road Trips

Posted on Mar 28 2017 - 6:59pm by Ella

Road trips can be a great way of spending a family break together but they can also turn into a nightmare if your car becomes faulty or – worse still – you suffer an accident. Therefore, it is essential to carry out some car care procedures before embarking. Often, these simple measures will be enough to ensure that your family road trip is a success from start to finish.

  1. Pay attention to the car brakes

All car brakes lose their ability to slow your vehicle down over time. Brake fluid pressure may drop and brake pads will wear down the more they are used. Places like DAT Tyres can carry out brake repair services with expertise and they also have an online booking system. On a long road trip faulty brakes could easily lead to a collision and might even be fatal so never overlook this maintenance check.

  1. Confirm the lights

Before you even think about a road trip starting you need to check your car’s lights. This means all of them, not just your headlamps. Makes sure your fog light, indicators, side lights and reversing lights are all in good order and replace any bulbs which are not functioning properly.

  1. Screen Wash Top Up

You might not think that you need a full reservoir of screen wash especially if your road trip is going to be in the summer when the roads are free from grime. However, just one turn down a dusty lane or a sudden shower may mean that you will be thankful that you filled up with screen washing before heading out. It is better to buy it locally than fork out for an emergency supply at a motorway service station.

  1. Be careful with Overseas Travel

Many UK residents take their cars into Europe on road trips these days. However, the rules of the road are different even within the European Union so make sure you know exactly what you will have to carry with you in each state that you intend to drive in. High-visibility vests and warning triangles are essential in several countries, for example. 

  1. Car Tyres – Checking and Replacement

When you are beginning a long journey with a boot full of luggage, the last thing you need is to be replacing one of your tyres for the spare. Before setting out, look at your tyres tread for any signs of wear and replace those which are approaching their legal limit. Asda Tyres are a good place to have this check done for you if you are not sure how to go about it. As well as tread depth, bulges and cracks in the side of a tyre’s wall are signs of potential trouble, so these should be changed as well if you spot these issues.

  1. Chipped Windscreens

Any chipped areas of your windscreen will only get worse the more miles you drive, so have your glazing inspected by a professional before you start. Often, a replacement windscreen will be fully covered by your insurance policy.

  1. Inspection for engine oil

Use your dipstick after the car’s engine has cooled in order to confirm whether you have the correct amount of oil. Top up so that your car continues to run smoothly even if the weather gets hot. Longer journeys can cause your car to use up more oil than is usual.

Once you have gone through your car checklist, it is time to head out on the open road. Enjoy your road trip but do take the time to do a few more visual inspections of your vehicle en route to keep things running well.