What to check before going for a long drive?| Point S

10 essential car checks before a holiday

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Every holiday period involves trips, longs drives, and lots of planning. Wherever you are going, you need to take some precautions before hitting the road. Here are some tips to get ready to drive safely and begin your trip without worry.

 

1 – Check and clean your windscreen wipers

They are essential to help you see clearly. There are different signs that show your windscreen wipers should be changed: difficulty in sliding across your windscreen, noticeable rubbing noises or strange movements… Sometimes it can just mean they need to be cleaned. Grab a cloth and give them a good wipe. You could save some money and trouble!

2 – Check your windscreen

If you see damage or imperfections and worry it might be serious, ask your Point S technician during your next visit. It is important to take care of deep cracks and chips in the glass as these can be dangerous if they become worse.

3 – Check your headlights

Headlights, indicators, and rear lights need to be checked before setting off on a holiday or long road trip. Their good working condition will enable other drivers to see you and also to keep you safe and avoid fines. Ask a family member or a neighbour to help you check.

4 – Check the condition and the pressure of your tyres

There are 3 main elements to consider when it comes to tyres:
  • Tyre pressure needs to be checked before any long drive. It is recommended to check when it is cold so the heat does not affect the reading. Good tyre pressure will help you save fuel and minimise the wear of your tyres. 
  • The minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm. Below this, your tyres are not legal for the road, are not safe, and increase the risk of an accident. 
  • Checking the condition of your tyres. Examine your tyres for lumps, bumps, cracks or anything embedded. Ask for advice if you are not sure how to check. 


Tyres should be checked every 3,000 miles as best practice. 

 

5 – Check your radiator

During summer, one of the reasons the engine overheats is the radiator or a problem stemming from a fluid leak. When the car is parked, if you see a green, orange or yellow liquid underneath your car, it means there is a cooling liquid leak. You need to fix the problem before setting off on any long drives. 

 

6 – Check your vehicle liquids levels

The oil, refrigerant (for the airconditioning) and wiper fluid must be checked and topped up if necessary. A lack of oil can damage the engine, and the lack of refrigerant can damage the air conditioning system, leading to potentially expensive repairs. It is important to check the liquids levels regularly. 

Power steering fluid and transmission fluid must be checked as well. If you have difficulty turning your vehicle and your steering wheel vibrates a lot when you stop, it means there is could be a lack of power steering liquid. Transmission fluid must be checked as well, especially if your car has high mileage.

 

7 – Check your exhaust pipe and rust

If you hear noises when you drive over potholes, your exhaust pipe might be detached. Most of the time, this fix just requires a little welding. When checking under your vehicle, pay attention to rust. If the rust has been there for a long time, it could break certain components when your car receives impacts. Have the rust on your car checked by a Point S expert. 

 

8 – Check your brakes

There are essential for your safety and other drivers’ safety. When you brake, and you feel that your braking distances have increased, especially when wet, have your car checked immediately. Brakes should be checked every 6 months.

 

9 – Check your battery and signs of corrosion

You can check it with a multimeter. The voltage should be between 12.5v for a 100% charge, and 14.5v when the motor is running. A voltage of 12.0v is equal to a charge of 25%, meaning you should charge your battery. Several signs can indicate a problem, such as:
  • If start-up is slow or is difficult
  • A rotten egg smell (sulphur), coming from a leak
  • The electrical equipment is not functioning properly

If you are unsure, ask your Point S expert. For best practice, check the battery every 3 months. 

 

10 – Check your emergency equipment

The First aid kit, spare tyre, and tools must be in good condition. Also ensure your license, MOT and insurance are up-to-date.  

If you have all of these checked, you can drive with peace of mind while feeling safe in your vehicle. 

 

However, if you'd rather have your vehicle checked by a professional, visit your nearest Point S!
 
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