As per usual, the summer holidays seem to fly by, and before we know it, we’re storing away the flip flops ready for dull and dreary weather to reappear… However, if you’re trying to make the most of what’s left of the sun, and are planning a last-minute road trip or heading to the airport to catch some rays, you’re going to want to make sure your car is in top condition to help you through the journey.
Read on for an ultimate car maintenance checklist, so that you and your vehicle can stay on the road instead of stranded beside it!
1. Build an effective emergency kit
Although we are mainly focusing on the health of your car in this article, this emergency kit should primarily be built for you and your passengers. Your emergency kit should be located somewhere safe and where it can be accessed easily. Essential items you’ll want to pack include: a first aid kit (including bandages, plasters and antiseptic), tyre gauge, reflective triangles, torch, drinking water, blankets, and sealed snacks. If you’re planning to be on the road a lot, these items could be essential during an emergency.
2. Check your tyres before you leave
The only thing between your car and the hot road is your tyres. A blowout can be a disaster in the heat, not to mention dangerous for anyone in or around the car. Make sure your tyres are not worn, and that the tyre tread is correct for your car. To keep those tyres in good shape, be sure to check your wheel alignment this season and perform a tyre rotation (swapping your back wheels to the front, and front wheels to the back, to reduce the wear on them).
If you need additional guidance on your car’s tyres, or would like to book your car in for our tyre services, please contact our car garage Salisbury here >>
Don’t forget, we also supply many brands of car tyres from our garage in Durrington. We are competitively priced and often run tyre deals to save you some money. You can use our ‘Tyre Finder’ here to get the best fit.
3. Monitor your car battery
A dead battery means a stranded driver – simple. Make sure you get it tested before you leave for your trip, otherwise you won’t be making it very far!
The life expectancy of your car battery is typically between four to six years. However, many factors determine how long your battery will last, for example, weather conditions, vehicle type and driving habits, such as listening to the radio with the engine off, that can reduce battery life.
4. Don’t forget about your windshield wipers
Although this guide is primarily for a last-minute summer road trip, we understand that the unpredictable weather in the UK could mean you’ll be driving in the rain more than the sun! If this is the case, it’s important not to forget about your windshield wipers. Good wipers provide clear visibility and prevent dangerous accidents, though we don’t recommend driving through flooded roads even with top-tier wipers (tip: they won’t help).
If you do find yourself driving in direct sunlight, it might be worth having a read of our previous article which outlines the ‘Top 5 driving hazards you could face this summer’. Read it here >>
5. Test those breaks!
We’ve talked a lot about keeping the car moving, but stopping is even more important. The disaster that can result from faulty brakes goes without saying. But we’ll say it anyway, bad brakes are a danger to not only yourself and passengers, but other cars and pedestrians around you, so get a brake inspection to make sure they’re good before you leave!
If you need a car service, including break testing, our car garage Salisbury will be more than happy to assist you. Car servicing starts from just £99, so contact our experts on 01980 65-55-55 or click here >>
6. Routine maintenance
Like the name says, this should be done routinely. We understand that you’re busy and car maintenance might be at the bottom of your list. However, things like spark plugs, belts, and tyre rotations are just a few common items to check and maintain, especially if you’re planning a long road trip. Read your vehicle’s manual to find out what to look for and how much car maintenance is needed. If you need further guidance on how to prepare your car, contact our team here >>
7. Test your air conditioning
Riding in the summer heat without air conditioning is not only uncomfortable, but it can also lead to heatstroke and other dangerous health conditions. It’s a good idea to get your AC recharged before your next trip to protect yourself.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to reduce your air emissions, a more eco-friendly option is to ignore the air-con completely and opt for the old fashioned technique of rolling the windows down. If you want more tips on how to reduce your car’s emissions, read our article here >>
Did you know? Our air con regas starts from just £59! Book yours in now.
8. Oil and Filters
One of the easiest ways to keep your car on the road is to make sure your oil is changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. The recommended interval varies by the vehicle’s age and manufacturer, but a good rule of thumb is to perform an oil change at the start of each summer. This can be an inexpensive way to protect your vehicle from future costly repairs, and keep it running for longer.
Contact our car garage Salisbury
Our ultimate car maintenance checklist can go a long way towards keeping you safe on the road during your trip. If you need further advice on the information we have given, or would like to book your car in for a service, MOT, new tyres or for a general check-up, phone us on 01980 65-55-55 or contact us here >>
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