What beautiful weather we’re having, who remembers the summer of 1976? Are you one of the lucky ones that have been able to drive to the coast – have you noticed the roads to the coastal areas are busier, this may result in hours sat in a tense and uncomfortable small space! Added to this you could have a couple of children and the dog in the back along with the suitcases, all in all not a journey we look forward to but by following a few tips from us it may not be that bad!
Firstly, try to look after your vehicle before travelling – if possible, arrange for your car service to be done a couple of weeks before your long journey, this can ensure that if there is anything that needs attention it can be done in plenty of time. If your service isn’t due, arrange for a summer health check to be done to give you peace of mind. By doing this it could save you a having a costly breakdown and/or repair bill if something was to go wrong.
There are several things that you can do for yourself before traveling:
Under the bonnet – Keep your engine coolant topped up to the correct level. Engine coolant could be at risk during summer driving. Aggravated by warm weather, low engine coolant, leaking coolant hoses and broken electric cooling fans can all result in overheating and temperatures hot enough to cause severe and expensive damage.
Look at your tyres – High temperatures will also worsen any existing damage to rubber, and under-inflated tyres can be more prone to friction, leading to punctures and blow-outs. The answer? Check the condition and pressure before going anywhere! Why not do it the very next time you pass by a petrol station which has air and water facilities or pop into Guide Bridge MOT and we’ll do it for you?
At the front: Consistent hot weather can exacerbate any existing minor damage to wiper blades and rubber windscreen trim. Give them a good look over to make sure any small problems are not worsened by hot temperatures -Is your windscreen washer bottle topped up? Water evaporates more quickly in hot weather, so check that your windscreen washer bottle is full before setting off. Sudden rain showers on a dry but dirty windscreen can cause bad smearing if your washer bottle is empty – don’t get caught out.
Damage – Loose stone chippings can cause punctures and can also cause damage to your windscreen and paintwork. Be extra careful driving through rural areas as summer is a popular time for the local councils to lay tar covered with loose chippings to improve roads. We tend to drive faster on rural roads as the speed limits are higher than in towns and cities
Air conditioning – Air conditioning significantly increases your fuel consumption, so if travelling on a long journey be aware of your fuel levels if using air conditioning and try to have windows open instead, as breaking down from running out of fuel is not ideal in any weather!
Glare – Sun glare can cause accidents in several ways, but one thing you can do in preparation is keep your windscreen clean from smears inside and out to stop the sunlight catching on them and impairing your vision. A good pair of sunglasses is a must for summer driving… invest in a pair that are polarised or treat yourself to a pair that have photochromic lenses which are light resistant.
Change drivers often – The hot weather can cause headaches which will make you even more tired so if a second driver is available, try to change over ever 2/3 hours. If you are the only driver please take lots of rest stops to stretch your legs and grab a drink at least every hour. If you are travelling with your dog, please remember that dogs get very hot in cars so make sure you take plenty of water for them to drink and allow them a short walk every time you take a ‘pit stop’ – remember NEVER to leave your pet in a hot car!
One of the best tips we can give you especially when you are travelling with children……. Make sure you have all the electronic equipment they need to keep entertained whilst travelling. I know that the IPad and the portable DVD player are my daughters best friend when they travel with our grandchildren! Always take a pillow and blanket so that they can snooze whilst you drive…
Call Nicola on 0161 339 5354 and we can at least make sure your car is in ‘holiday condition’………..