Summer holidays are finally here, and the family are itching for a vacation. With the current climate you are probably thinking a vacation isn’t possible – how wrong you are!
Staycations are as good as an overseas vacation, if not better. Staying in your country for the holidays has many benefits. Immerse yourself into and learn more about your country, culture, and history, enjoy the flexibility and save money.
Your car is essential for an epic staycation, so make sure it’s up to scratch for your safety and the safety of all other staycationers on the road. There is nothing worse than cutting your vacation short and paying for an expensive tow due to unexpected car issues.
7 Essential Car Checks
We have compiled a list of 7 important car checks that are crucial before your staycation road trip. Whilst this is a useful checklist, it is recommended that you have a mechanic check and service your car before the vacation. Don’t get caught out!
- Remember your summer FORCES
F – Fuel: Traffic or start/ stop driving conditions will use more fuel especially in summertime. Make sure you have enough fuel to get where you want to go.
O – Oil: Important to regularly check you oil levels so you don’t run low to avoid engine damage.
R – Rubber:
Check your car manual to see what tyre pressure is optimal for your car and make sure all four tyres are at that level. The exception to this is different 4WD/ off-road terrains, in which further research is necessary for car owner.
Tyre tread must have at least 3mm of tread to keep from slipping in wet or icy conditions. During visual inspection if there is uneven wear on a particular part of the tyre it usually indicates an alignment issue or possible something worse.
Make sure your wiper blades are effective in clearing water off the screen and replace if necessary.
C – Coolant: Especially important in summer as this keeps the engine at an appropriate temperature, make sure it is between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ levels. If the level is low there is a high chance your car will overheat.
E – Electrics: Windscreen wipers, lights, indicators, and windows are all controlled by electrics, losing all of these vital parts during a road trip is not good. In fact, it is quite dangerous and limiting…
Rain? Can’t drive.
Dark? Can’t drive.
Need to turn at any point? Can’t drive.
Someone ate too many baked beans? Don’t want to drive.
S – Screenwash: Ensure your windscreen fluid is full to clear the bugs and bird poo off.
- Test the battery, especially in summer
Usually, car batteries have a lifespan of about 3 years. If you experience slow cranking when starting the car, the battery may need a replacement. It is a good idea to have a professional mechanic flush the cooling system and replace with new, rust-inhibiting coolant.
- Steering & suspension
You should not have to haul the steering wheel in a certain direction to keep your car driving in a straight line. If this is happening, then your steering wheel most likely needs to be realigned.
Test your suspension by leaning your whole bodyweight above a tyre on the bodywork of the car then push away. If the car rises smoothly in reaction to your bodyweight, the suspension should be fine. However, if it bounces back quickly, there could be an issue with a worn damper.
- Transmission, clutch and CV joints
Stay aware of knocking sounds, it could mean worn joints. If you are in a car that has automatic transmissions and there are slight issues going from neutral into gear, tell a mechanic. In a car that has manual transmission the revs should increase at the same rate as the car’s speed, if it doesn’t this could mean problems with a slipping clutch.
- Signs of wear and tear around the car, especially worn brakes
Shudders through the pedal and metal on metal squealing noises mean you should have your braking system checked and probably the hydraulic fluid reservoir flushed to ensure your brakes will stop your car!
- Dashboard warning lights
If ever one of the warning lights in the dashboard light up, the car must be checked immediately by a professional mechanic.
- Check that your air conditioning is working to ensure a comfortable trip
When the air conditioning temperature keeps lower it’s a sure sign that the refrigerant gas that gives us the fresh, cold gust is running low and needs a refill. Although not an issue that could lead to danger, it would make the summer drive a little less comfortable.
Extra handy tips:
- Pack a jack and locking wheel nut key – you never know when you’ll need it
- Ensure your Sat nav system is working and you have a paper map just to make sure.
- Take your driver’s license, car insurance documents and breakdown services contact details
- Make sure to pack jump leads
Once you have ticked off all items on our essential safety checklist get ready to pack your car and get on the road to discover the UK. Test out the capabilities of your LandRover or RangeRover on some off-road adventures or cruise throughout the luscious, green countryside in your Jaguar.