Vacations break the monotony, and we all cherish such moments. A significant percentage of domestic tourists prefer using personal cars to buses. The latest statistics from Europe shows that 74% use private vehicles. The remaining proportion opts for flights, buses, and trains. The choice of the mode of transport depends on different factors.
When planning a holiday vacation, many people preserve finances for the trip. We also park swimwear and other necessary clothing for a holiday. However, people overlook many aspects of the car. You may be frustrated when your car breaks down. You could save yourself from such by conducting these ten essential checks before leaving home.
Your vehicle handbook has the recommended pressure levels for the rare and front wheels. The tires should have adequate pressure. Moreover, inside your car door, you will find the manufacturer’s pressure in case you are not sure. The under-inflated or over-inflated tire should not be used. Besides, you need to check the pressure of your spare tires too. Since most states recommend that you check your car pressure monthly, you should adhere to these rules. At home, you can use digital tire inflator to check the tire pressure. Alternatively, you can visit a nearby garage for pressure check.
The tire tread helps you while braking. You may have efficient brakes, but if the treads are inadequate, the vehicle may not stop as required. Use a tread depth indicator to ensure your treads meet the standard. Alternatively, you can use a 20p piece and stand it up in the tread groove. In the UK, the treads should have a depth of 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tire. Besides, you may incur fines of £2,500 per tire if your tire does not meet the specified standards. Keep it in mind that for prompt stop, the treads help here instead of the brakes. Therefore, the grip between the tire and the road surface should be excellent.
Your car requires engine oil for lubrication hence smooth journey. Ensure the level of oil is adequate. Moreover, locate where you have placed the oil dipstick in your bonnet. Your handbook will be of help in checking the recommended level of oil for your car. Insufficient engine oil will lead to overheating of the engine hence destruction. Therefore, you will incur much in repairing the engine. In case you need to top up the engine oil, ensure you use the recommended oil from your handbook.
Antifreeze protects your engine from extreme temperatures, especially during winter. Moreover, since coolants have a high boiling point, it eliminates excess heat from the engine. To check your coolant level, turn off the car engine. While checking, ensure the level of coolant or antifreeze falls between the minimum and maximum levels. The radiators have overflow levels with the labels for maximum and minimum.
On a summer holiday, you will require an air conditioner. In some cases, the last time air con was used could be during the previous summer. Therefore, you should check if the air con is working well before setting off. The journey could be unpleasant if you realize that the air conditioning system fails on your way.
Overall tire condition
You need to check bilging and cracking of tires besides the pressure and tread. Tires that have passed through many potholes may experience bulging on the sidewalls. Old tires are prone to cracking since they have been exposed to the sunlight. Therefore, the UV rays oxidize the tires, and they lose their waxy properties.
Locking wheel nut and car jack
In case of any puncture on your way, you will need a car jack. Therefore, ensure you park your car jack before setting off. Besides, you will need a locking wheel nut since you require it to remove a wheel. Store these two in a safe compartment in the vehicle.
Refilling the screenwash bottle
To avoid sight difficulties while driving, you need the screen to be clean. Therefore, you need to refill the screenwash bottle. The washer fluid does not include only water since the other coolants that prevent screen expansion or contraction also makes it. To check the screenwasher level, open a cap under the bonnet and refill with the washer fluid. The cap is often blue.
All the lights should function
Ensure that all the lights of the car function before setting off for a long journey. In case you find either brake lights, headlamps, indicators or any light not functioning properly, you may call a technician.
Windscreen wipers and wiper blades
The windscreen will help you see the road well. Therefore, ensure the windscreens are working well all the time. There might be some light showers hence windscreen will help you for clear vision. Do not forget to check the wiper blades for a better vacation experience.