There is always a big focus every year on how to get your car ready for winter, but getting your car ready for summer is actually just as important!
The roads are very different in summer and our journeys are often longer. Breakdown services report up to a 30% increase in call-outs during the summer months, and so being prepared and inspecting your car, particularly before a long journey, could help to prevent a breakdown. And although there will be some breakdowns that can’t be prevented, for the ones that can, simply inspecting and maintaining your car regularly, could certainly help to prevent these.
Here are some valuable tips on the checks you can do yourself:
- Lights - Check all lights, both exterior and interior. Don’t forget things such as the brake lights and indicators.
- Tyres - Check that all tyres have at least the legal tread, which for cars is 1.6mm. Also, check that the tyre pressure is correct (see handbook). You will also need to check the spare tyre, jack and wheel brace to make sure these are in good condition.
- Oil & Coolant - Check oil and coolant levels. You may need to consult the vehicle handbook for instructions.
- Windscreen washer - Make sure the windscreen washer fluid is topped up and the washer jets are working correctly.
- Wiper blades - Check the wiper blades and make sure these are in good working order and clear the windscreen properly.
- Engine cooling fan – Run the engine to check that the electric cooling fan is working correctly. Wait until the temperature is up and listen out for the fan switching on.
If you are planning a long journey, make sure that you are prepared by:
- Planning out your journey to try to avoid getting stuck in long tailbacks of traffic.
- Having plenty of water/refreshments in the car
- Taking sun cream with you in case you break down in hot weather
- Taking regular breaks, planning where you are going to stop along the way
We also recommend carrying these essentials items in your car:
- First aid kit
- Sat nav or up to date road map
- Fuel can
- Fire extinguisher
- High visibility clothing
- Warning triangle
- Extra oil, windscreen wash, and water
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