Vehicle Checks to Make Before a Road Trip

With a bank holiday weekend coming up, many Brits are going to be preparing for a road trip. When it comes to going on a road trip, though, we need to be sure our cars are as prepared as we are as the last thing you want is a breakdown – let alone one that is potentially hundreds of miles from home.

Here at Longbridge Tyres, we work closely with local mechanics and also fit tyres from leading brands, so we are very familiar with cars and the important checks to make prior to setting off. That’s why we’ve decided to run you through it in our latest blog post below.

1. Vehicle Fluids

an image of a person in a white shirt checking the oil of a car

First, and perhaps foremost, you should take the precaution to check the key fluids that help all the car’s processes run smoothly. These include engine oil, coolant, screenwash, brake fluid/clutch fluid, and power steering fluid (if applicable).

Refer to your owner’s manual for the location of the applicable reservoirs, as well as the level they should be at and the recommendations for the products you need if they are running low.

2. Tyres

an image of the wheel of a car turned so as to reveal the patter of the worn tread of its tyre

Tyres are one of your car’s most important safety features. They’re the only physical contact you have with the road, so keeping them in top condition is imperative for remaining safe on the road. This is especially important for long road trips where tyres become hot, which can lead to blowouts and increased wear.

Make sure the air pressure is correct in all four tyres – the correct amount should be located in your owner’s manual – and check the tread depth. The law says your tread depth has to be at least 1.6mm, but we recommend at least around 2-3mm for optimal safety and performance.

Be sure to also check the spare tyre of your vehicle, if applicable, as these can often be left for a long time leading to them being in bad condition when required.

3. Clean Car

an image of a hand washing the boot of a car

Cleaning your car before a road trip might make the journey a bit more pleasant, which means it’s already a good idea, but it’s essential to at least ensure your windows are clean and clear. Windscreen wipers should also be cleaned as a clean windscreen with dirty wipers is essentially useless.

Keeping the windows clean will help to maintain good visibility, and this can become a real issue with the amounts of bugs around during the summer months.

4. Lights

an image of the headlights of a car shining at night

Another important safety feature – not only for yourself, but also for other road users – are the lights on your car. Check these regularly, but also before setting off on a long road trip. You might need someone to help with certain areas such as the brake lights, but be sure to turn them all on and check each of them.

Keeping spare bulbs for the key players, such as headlights and brake lights, in your car can be a great idea to help ensure you’re not caught short.

If you’ve spotted a light that isn’t working but the filament is still intact, refer to your owner’s manual and check the fuses are all in order as these can sometimes lead to lights failing.

5. Emergency Equipment

Finally, keeping the correct emergency equipment in your car is a good idea to remain prepared for all circumstances. The standard things such as a map, your reflective triangle (which, along with a reflective vest, is a legal requirement in certain European countries), a spare wheel and the appropriate tools are always good to keep in the boot of your vehicle.

There are certain other emergency items that you might also want to consider keeping available in your vehicle, such as a torch, some non-perishable food, some water, and some warm clothes as it is always a good idea to be prepared for everything.

Speaking of items that are required when changing countries, be sure to check if there is anything you need if you’re changing from a right-hand drive country to a left-hand drive country (for example) as certain accessories like beam deflectors may be required.

Common Sense is Key

And there you have it: some of the most important checks to make before heading off on a road trip, whether it’s this bank holiday weekend or some time in the future. We recommend you follow this list closely and also use your common sense to check over anything you feel might be important when using your car for a long period of time.

Longbridge Tyres

If you’ve just carried out your pre-road trip checks and have noticed your tyres need replacing, get in touch with us here at Longbridge Tyres. We have a range that includes some of the most recognised brands in the industry, so we definitely have something for you.

Call us on 0121 457 7582 or fill out our simple contact form to find out more.