Southern Yacht

My little take on plus size fashion, life, travel and smurfs

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Basic car care for your next holiday*

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure there’s not a nicer feeling than setting ‘out of office’ on your email, closing the door on work and setting off on holiday. For me, the travelling is as much part of the holiday as the holiday itself. We like to take our car and be as independent as possible (plus there’s no weight restrictions on luggage!).

We regularly have short trips in the UK and at least once a year, we head over to France and Belgium. But as exciting as it is go on holiday, one major part of any driving trip is to make sure your car is ready for the journey. Basic car maintenance is a good habit to get into and can save you from any unexpected problems during your journey.

Basic car care for your next holiday

Having just returned from a week driving around Devon and with a trip to France on the horizon, I thought I’d share some of the basic checks we do before setting off. I normally travel with the other half and to be fair, he likes to do the checks himself. But if I’m travelling on my own, I do them myself.

The first item on our list was definitely the tyres. I always give them a once over before driving anywhere (and on both sides, it’s easy to forget what’s happening on the passenger side if you’re the driver). If the tyre pressure is too high or low this can cause uneven wear. If the tread is too low, it’s an MOT failure. Our tread is was getting low so a new set of tyres are needed before we go to France. It’s easy to check what tyres you need simply by entering your car reg online at websites like DAT Tyres where you can buy car tyres at economical prices.

Checking the oil – again this is changed when the car has its service or if you’re confident enough it can be something you tackle yourself. Check the oil level before any big trip and remember to make a note of what type of oil your car uses. I have a sticker in the glove compartment to remind of that as well as the recommended tyre pressure.

Other checks we do are cleaning the air filter, brake fluid level, the water in the radiator and making sure the screen wash is topped up, preferably with some screen cleaner to get rid of all those pesky bugs you get on your windscreen. Check your windscreen wiper blades as well. It’s amazing the difference a new set can make.

Basic car care for your next holiday

One other hint I would give for car maintenance is to read your car manual and if going on a long journey – take it with you! We had to change a brake light bulb once while in France and the whole thing was a lot less stressful knowing we had the manual to hand.

Basic car care for your next holiday

And the final bit of car maintenance? Making sure the driver and passengers are looked after. I always have a supply of snacks and drinks on hand and plan stops along the way to break the journey up. Share the driving whenever you can (unless you’re my other half who hates being a passenger) and make sure the sat nav is up to date. If you’re driving abroad remember the check the legal requirements for what you must carry in the car (high viz jackets, spare bulb kit and breathalysers for France for example).

So, there you have it, my hints and tips for making sure your car is safe and ready for your next holiday.

Thanks for reading 

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