Taking a trip can be really exciting, but if you are out and about, midway into a journey and your car breaks down, things can take a turn for the worst, the fun can be lost, and you can spend a lot of time and money sorting things out. In order to minimise the chances of this happening it is essential to check your car is road trip ready before you even set out.
Check the basics
Before you plan to take a more extended trip, you should always check your air, oil and water. These three tasks can quickly be learned, and you should ensure that for the oil and water checks you have parked on a flat hard standing rather than on a slope as this could give a false reading. Your handbook should tell you what tyre pressures you should be running, and most garages have access to airlines for about twenty pence.
Get your car serviced
Make sure you have been keeping up with servicing on your car, and if you are planning an unusually long journey consider booking a service anyway. This gives you peace of mind that your vehicle has been checked by a professional and if you are unsure about things like oil and water they can check this for you. Failure to serve a car regularly can mean a minor issue is not spotted and over time it deteriorates into a costly job that could have been avoided.
Tyres: Fittings, repair and maintenance
As well as checking the air in your tyres you should also be keeping an eye on the overall quality. Treads have a legal minimum limit, after which the tyre becomes dangerous and could fail to react when braking, or steering sharply. It also means that the rubber has worn away and this can leave the tyre more at risk of punctures or worse, a blowout, which can leave the car uncontrollable and cause an accident. Tyres should be regularly checked for nails, stones and other debris in the treads, and it is vital you have a spare tyre on board, the spare wheel is often only suitable to get you back to proper help, but some vehicles carry a full road legal spare. Even if you’re road tripping to Scotland and need an emergency repair or replacement, you can get good quality tyres in Dundee and surrounding areas at places such as Dundee Autocentre.
How to save money
The best way to save money when it comes to cars and road trips is to have breakdown cover should the worst happen. It can be really expensive to get your vehicle towed or repaired at the side of the road if you are not a member of a breakdown service. Check the level of cover and compare it with the journey you are going to make.
The bottom line is that being prepared for road trips is a case of being proactive, not reactive. If you carry out a range of checks and ensure that your vehicle is maintained all year round, you are less likely to have problems when heading out for a longer trip. Being reactive is not only disruptive it can also be hard on the wallet so keeping on top of basic maintenance makes a lot of sense.