How to prepare your vehicle for a long distance trip.

Check your levels: This is the kind of thing that we all know we should keep on top of but often let slip, whether due to time pressures or simple complacency. However, even if you don’t get around to checking the levels of fluids such as oil, engine coolant, windscreen washer fluid and antifreeze in your car every week, it is important that you do so before setting off on any long journeys.

Any problems which become apparent once you’re on the road will obviously be harder – and usually more expensive – to deal with at a motorway service station, so do the sensible thing and make all the necessary checks before you head off.

As well as the fluid levels, there are a couple of other checks you should make if you know you will soon be setting off on a trip which will take hours and cover hundreds of miles. Neglecting the below could get you into trouble with the authorities and, more importantly, present a danger to you and your passengers:

  • Tyres – It goes without saying that the tyres are among your car’s most important components, and not maintaining them can be highly dangerous. Check that the tread depth and pressure are both at the required levels, and that you have the equipment needed to change a tyre if anything untoward should occur en route.
  • Lights – Checking that all of your headlights and brake lights are working can be done in seconds, so there is no excuse not to! Again, this is something we can easily forget to check when we’re used to hopping in and out of the car every day, but imagine, for example, what the potential consequences of not having working brake lights could be if you needed to slow down suddenly on the motorway.

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