Is your car ready for the warmer weather and that long-awaited summer holiday?

A summer check-up for your car is just as important as a winter one.

When going away I would always advise having some sort of breakdown cover. The more cover you can afford, the better. Although over the years our vehicles have become a lot more reliable, they have also become a lot more complicated and now most need specialised equipment to fix them. Having car problems can totally ruin a holiday and cost a small fortune!

We have all seen vehicles at the side of the road with their bonnets up and we do not want this to be you!

Here is my advice and some basic things to check when preparing for a long trip.

  • Is the coolant and screen wash at the correct level?
  • Are there any problems with the engine cooling system, as this will be made worst in hotter weather?
  • During the summer months there are a lot more insects in the air, and some normal screen washes will fail to clear them. Try adding a summer additive.
  • Does the radiator fan cut in at the right temperature? This is vital to avoid any engine damage if you get stuck in traffic and the weather is hot.
  • Are the tyres at the correct pressure and undamaged (including the spare)? This will also help to increase your fuel economy, due to driving long distances at speed.

In addition, check that the tyres are inflated for the right setting once your car is packed.

  • Is your vehicle overloaded? Exceeding your car’s weight restrictions can cause it to become unroadworthy and also obstruct your view whilst driving.
  • If you are towing, does the trailer socket work correctly?
  • If you have air conditioning fitted, does it work? Changing the pollen/cabin filter can make a big difference to the efficiency of an air con system.
  • Have you got the right tools to change a tyre? The longer the road trip, the greater the chance of a puncture.
  • Do you have a hi-viz jacket in your car, in case you need to stop on the side of the road?
  • When travelling abroad, have you checked the legal requirements for driving in that country? You may need to buy some extra equipment including spare bulbs, hi-viz jackets, breathalysers etc.
  • Have you planned your journey and allowed that little bit of extra time? During holiday seasons there will be a lot more traffic on the roads, possible road works and breakdowns to manoeuvre.