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Essential Car Maintenance Checks To Do Before a Road Trip

If you’re planning a trip that involves long drives over an extended period of time, it’s worth carrying out some checks on your car before hitting the road, as surely you don’t want anything to ruin your staycation. So here at Perrys we have put together a list of simple checks you can do on your own and that will make the difference before heading off to your destination. 

Check your Battery

The battery is the heart of your car and a must to check before your holidays. The voltage should be around 12.5v for a 100% charge and around 14.5v when the motor is running. This can be checked with a multimeter, which you can purchase from us here at Perrys. Also, when checking your battery, make sure to watch out for any sulphur smell as they may indicate a potential leak. 

Test your Brakes

There will most likely be lots of starts and stops along your journey, and for your safety and that of other road users, it’s essential to test that your brakes are working properly. If you feel like your brakes are not as effective as they used to be, this is a sign they may need to be professionally checked. Book an appointment at your nearest Perrys and we’ll make sure to get you ready for your holiday. Also, it’s worth noting that brakes should generally be checked every six months for brake pads and disc wear and tear.

Check your Tyres

To ensure the safety of your passengers and yourself it’s worth checking the tyre pressure as they can deflate over time, affecting vehicle handling and leading you to consume more fuel. Tyre pressure should generally be checked every month, but even more so before a long trip. It can be easily done through a tyre pressure gauge. In addition, it’s also worth checking tread depth to make sure it meets the legal requirement of 1.6mm. If you don’t have a thread depth indicator at hand, you can use a 20p coin and place it standing up on the tread groove. If you can see the outer edge of the coin, then it’s time to replace that tyre. Lastly, make sure that there are no cracks or bulging in your tyres.

Car tyre pressure check

Check your Lights

Lights are fundamental when driving long distances and even more so if driving in the dark. If they are not working properly, this could be dangerous and lead to accidents. Make sure to check headlights, reverse lights, fog lights, brake lights, indicators, and cabin lights before you set off. If any bulb needs replacing, you can look up your car make and model on Perrys Parts and find a suitable replacement. 

Top your Screen Wash up

In order to remove dirt and insects from the windscreen, it’s important to have a suitable level of screen wash, especially before long trips as it could reduce your visibility if you don’t have enough and wind wipers are running dry. Screenwash fluid can be found in almost every petrol station. However, if you haven’t been unsuccessful in finding any, we offer different types here

Car Wrench, Jack & Wheel Nut

In case you pick up a tyre puncture, it is always worth packing a car jack, wrench and wheel nut as this could truly make a difference between waiting for a recovery vehicle and carrying on with your holiday. Remember though, when you pack your wheel nut you should also remember the wheel nut key as without it, it will be impossible to remove your wheel. 

Check your Coolant Level 

Another fluid worth checking is your coolant or antifreeze as not only does it protect your engine from cold temperatures in winter, but it also removes excess heat from the engine in the summer months, preventing you from breaking down on the motorway during a heatwave (definitely not a pleasant scenario). It’s easy to check your coolant levels, just locate your radiator reservoir under the bonnet and make sure the coolant level is within min and max lines. 

Car coolant level

Check your Oil Level

Last but not least, if the battery is the heart of your engine, the oil is the lifeblood of it, as it keeps all the interior moving parts lubricated whilst cleaning and cooling them down at the same time. Checking your oil is just as easy as checking your coolant level: Locate the dipstick under the bonnet (it has a ring pull), take it out and check its condition. If the oil needs topping up remember that it’s specific to your car. If you’re unsure, check your vehicle handbook to find out what type of oil your car requires.

We hope our tips on how to prepare your car for a summer road trip have been helpful to you and we wish you a good staycation. 

Tags: *Car_Maintenance *Car_Maintenance_Checks *Maintenance_Checks *Car_Checks *Staycation *Oil_Check *Coolant_Check

Written by Lucrezia | 3 min read
26 Aug 2022