Whether you’re driving home for Christmas, or taking a long trip across the country to visit friends or relatives, one think that can really ruin the experience is car troubles. A breakdown on the motorway will turn your festive spirit into a bad mood, and all excitement about the holidays will be lost. Luckily, however, we have come up with a list of tips that will help you to avoid car problems this winter.
1. Make a Roadside Emergency Kit
Being stuck at the side of the road feeling helpless whilst you wait for the breakdown service to come out is no fun, especially in cold weather. So, before you even think about going on a long road trip, it’s important to make and pack a roadside emergency kit. Pack things like oil, jumper cables, a can of tyre inflator, blankets, bottled water, and a flashlight. This way, you may be able to patch your vehicle up yourself, and if not, you’ll be able to keep warm whilst waiting for help.
2. Test the Safety Features of Your Car
In the weeks before your trip, make sure the safety features of your car are all working correctly. Check that the seat belts unreel and retract properly, and test your brakes. If anything is amiss, or if your seat belts are starting to fray, you can take your car in for a service.
3. Look Under the Hood
Pop the hood of your car and take a look underneath. Make sure that all of your fluids – windscreen washer, transmission, power steering, and oil fluids – are fully topped up. Also have a look at the belts and hoses to ensure there are no cracks. Finally, take a look at the date on the battery. If it’s more than three years old, it might be worth investing in a new one. If you need any work doing on your car, make sure you get it done before you go.
4. Check the Electrics
Check the windscreen wipers, the horn, and all of the lights on your vehicle to make sure they are in working order. Add a few bulbs and fuses to your tool box, just in case anything breaks whilst you’re on the road. Finally, ask someone to stand outside your car and check the brake lights – you don’t want to end up with a ticket.
5. Check Your Tyres
Most people don’t even think about their car’s tyres until something happens and one of them goes flat. However, checking them out before you go on a long road trip can prevent you getting a flat in the first place. Make sure that there are no darker strips of rubber on your tyres, and that the tread is even. Also make sure that they are inflated to the right levels to prevent them from exploding.
With all of your car checks done, you just need to load up your Christmas playlist and get into the festive mood. Safe travelling.