5 Things To Remember Before Taking A Road Trip
As exciting as it can be to start a road trip, you can’t be too prepared in the event of an emergency. From punctured tyres to failing engines, here are 5 things you need to remember before you set sail on the unpredictable road to adventure.
1. Tyres & Pressure
A vital part of car maintenance (and something you definitely want to do before heading off on a long haul road trip!) is ensuring your tyres are up to scratch. If you’re not sure how to check tyre pressure, you can start by finding the correct pressure rating for your car. This can be found:
- In your car manual
- Printed on the inside ledge of the driver's door
- Inside the petrol cap
Once you’ve got that handy, it’s a case of getting a pressure gauge and checking the tyre pressure through that. If your tyre needs extra air, you should inflate it using an air pump of your own or at a petrol station. If you find the tyre pressure is too high, then simply allow the air to escape from the valve.
2. Check Water
Although it can seem unlikely, the water in your car is just as important as oil. Water acts as an engine coolant, meaning your car won’t overheat and cause serious damage - something to think about before going on a long journey. To check your water, simply get under the bonnet of your car (make sure you secure it in the raised position) and find the coolant reservoir. Check where the water lies on the markings - if it’s fallen below the minimum mark, simply top it up with regular water.
3. Check Oil
This is one of the messier tasks on the list, but essential - checking your oil is vital to ensure it hasn’t gone bad. Make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves and have a kitchen towel on hand. Here’s a quick guide on how to ensure you check your oil correctly:
- Making sure your car is parked on a flat surface, open the car bonnet and find the dipstick
- Clean the dipstick with your kitchen towel before re-inserting it back in place
- Remove the dipstick again, and check where the oil falls between the two marks. If your oil isn’t between either mark and falls too low or there isn’t any oil at all, it’s time to top it up.
- Find the oil filler cap, and position a funnel in the sprout. Keep checking the dipstick to ensure you haven’t topped up too much or too little.
4. Check Battery
If your car has failed to start or you’ve noticed it’s taking longer to get started, it means that the battery has finally failed and needs to be checked. It’s imperative that you do this, especially before a car journey to avoid being locked out of your car or stranded.
Your car manual should have a section to help you check your battery. An important thing to remember is to wear rubber gloves to ensure you never put yourself in any danger working with the battery of the car.
5. Extra Equipment
It goes without saying, but if you’re prepared, you’ll generally have nothing else to worry about. Here’s just a couple of things we would implore you to think about keeping in your car:
- Spare tire
- Tyre inflator and sealer
- Jumper cables
- First Aid Kit
Ensure you read up on how to use each of these products in the event of a breakdown, and as always take extra precautions to be safe.