Planning a long trip? Don’t forget these checks
With the holidays just around the corner, many of us will be planning to travel to visit friends and relatives. If there’s one thing you need to remember before your family gets into your car, it’s a #CarSafetyChecklist.
Here are some things you need to check before you go on a long journey:
It’s about to get very cold in many parts of the country. Antifreeze (or coolant) protects your engine from very cold temperatures. It also has a high boiling point so even on hot days it will ensure you avoid breakdowns.
You can check your antifreeze levels under the radiator reservoir. It should be between the min and max lines, just be sure to top up with the right type for your car.
Oil lubricates all of the moving parts inside your vehicle’s engine, and cools and cleans those parts to keep your car running smoothly. If you don’t have enough oil in your car, the engine will seize up, ensuring you break down and are faced with a large bill for new parts.
Grab your dipstick and ensure your oil level is high enough that it’s between the two min and max markers on the dipstick.
Before you go anywhere, it’s crucial that you check all of your tires- including the spare. Not only is this essential for prolonging the life of your tires, but it’ll ensure you stay safe while you’re driving. Tires that are underinflated are at risk of a blow out, and if you’re traveling at high speed, this can end up causing a fatal accident. Even tires that are just a little under the optimum tire pressure can impact how long your vehicle takes to brake.
While you’re checking your tires for pressure, you should also check them for wear and tear. Remember: These are the only parts of your vehicle that is in contact with the road, and they need to have enough tread to grip the road- even in poor conditions.
Take a look at your tires and see if they have any cracks or bulges. This should be done a few weeks before you go on any long journeys so you have time to get new tires if necessary.
All of your lights will need to be checked regularly, but particularly before any long journeys. This check should include your fog lights, brake lights, reversing lights, and indicators. Along with blow bulbs, you should also keep an eye out for dirt or cracks on your lenses.
Be sure to pack a toolkit with you before you go anywhere. If you get a puncture while traveling, you may be able to change the tire yourself- but only if you have the necessary tools available. Take your wheel nut key and tire jack at the very least. You may also want to include a first-aid kit, especially if you have kids.
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