WHY PREPARE THE AUTO FOR THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS?
The summer holidays are approaching, and with them comes the desire to travel to explore new destinations, meet people, taste new foods and create unforgettable memories. However, before you embark on your summer road trip adventure, ensure your car is in optimal condition for a peaceful and stress-free journey. Are you still trying to figure out where to start? Don’t worry; we are here to help! Follow our top tips on how to prepare for a road trip.
First of all, check your and the car’s documents to see if any are expiring and renew them before departure.
Schedule a complete vehicle inspection
Start your preparations by scheduling a complete vehicle inspection at a trusted workshop or service centre. A professional mechanic will examine components like the engine, brakes, tyres, battery, lights and fluids. Addressing any potential problems before the trip will minimise the risk of breakdowns and ensure a safer driving experience.
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Check engine parts before the summer holiday road trip:
If it has been a while since you have had a service, the first thing to do is a complete check-up of the engine components. Contact an authorised workshop and do all the necessary checks and analyses. It doesn’t matter whether your car is new or old because some elements don’t have a fixed life cycle, much depends on driving style, the quality of the part and the consequent wear and tear on the car over a long period of use. Check all engine parts so you stay safe during your car holiday.
Check all car fluids:
Correct fluid levels are critical to the smooth running of the car. Check engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering, and brake fluid. Top up or replace fluids that have run out or are dirty. Adequate fluid levels and regular maintenance help prevent overheating and engine damage, especially during long journeys in hot weather.
Check the brakes:
If you are planning a road trip, you cannot overlook the absolute necessity of thoroughly checking your brakes and the car’s entire braking system. The discs and pads must be checked, the wear analysed, and then the thickness measured. The parts should be replaced if the thickness is at the limit compared to the manufacturer’s specifications. But the checks do not end here. Either independently or, more accurately, in the workshop with dedicated instruments, we can also check the tightness of the brakes. A brake that is too soft is not safe, nor is a brake that is too tight, which requires considerable force to be applied.
Check tyre pressure and tread depth to ensure optimal performance and safety. Underinflated tyres can lead to reduced fuel efficiency, poor handling and an increased risk of blowout. Remember to check the spare tyre as well. If you don’t have a spare tyre and are going on a long trip or to remote areas, now would be the time to buy one and to practise changing it to be prepared when needed. If necessary, consider rotating the tyres and replacing them if worn or damaged.
Check the suspensions:
When you go on holiday, you often travel at the limit of carload, the entire family and luggage putting the car’s suspension under stress. If inefficient, it could cause problems, breaking down or reducing the comfort on board.
Check the battery:
The summer heat can put a strain on your car battery. Check it to ensure it is in good condition and can handle the increased trip demands. Clean corrosion from the battery terminals and tighten the connections if necessary. Carrying a set of jumper cables is always a wise precaution.
A properly functioning air-conditioning system is essential during summer travel. Check and, if necessary, recharge the air-conditioning system to ensure it maintains a comfortable temperature inside the car. Consider replacing the cabin air filter to improve air quality.
Check the cooling system:
It is strongly recommended to check the coolant and verify the proper functioning of the fan. With high summer temperatures and the high risk of standing still in traffic, efficient cooling can prevent many engine problems.
Check the windscreen wipers:
Replace the wiper blades if they are worn out. Excessive heat or cold exposure to dust, sand and salt significantly deteriorates rubber wiper blades. This can become a real safety issue during those intense summer storms. Replacing windscreen wipers is simple, and most people can do it themselves.
Prepare an emergency kit:
Prepare an emergency kit with essential items such as a spare wheel, jack, spanner, first aid supplies, torch, extra fluids, jumper cables and a basic tool kit. Also, take the roadside assistance phone number with you in case of unexpected breakdowns or accidents.
It sounds ridiculous enough to remember, but before you hit the road, you should ensure you have enough fuel to reach your destination or that there are refuelling stations on the route. You won’t believe it, but one of the most common causes of an ‘unscheduled stop’ is running out of fuel!
Clean and organise the interior:
A free and clean interior will enhance your driving experience. Remove unnecessary objects and vacuum the carpets and seats. Use dashboard protection products to prevent cracking from sun exposure. Consider investing in sun visors to keep the car cooler during stops.
Plan your route and accommodation:
Before hitting the road, plan your itinerary and book accommodation in advance. Know about alternative routes, rest stops and petrol stations along the way. This will help you avoid unnecessary detours and ensure a smooth journey.
After the car has been checked, some extra advice on organising luggage in the vehicle, as space is limited. Pack what you need according to the length of your trip and what you will be doing. Add extra items only if you have free space.
-use vacuum cases for towels, pillows, and bathrobes;
-pack and put small items in shoes;
-roll clothes instead of folding them;
-also, use the space under the seats;
-if space is still lacking, add a rooftop box.
Remember the food, snacks and beverages such as water and fruit juices.
If you travel with children, take games, books and CDs with their music to keep them occupied during the trip.
Preparing your car for a summer trip is essential in ensuring a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience. By following these tips and addressing any potential problems in advance, you can minimise the risk of breakdowns and maximise the time spent exploring new destinations. So, prepare your vehicle, pack your bags and head out on an unforgettable summer adventure!