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Prepare for Summer Road Trips
20th July 2017
Why not make the most of the warm summer weather by taking off on a summer road trip? But before you set off you should make sure that your vehicle is prepared for the conditions that lie ahead! Take a look at our helpful advice and make sure you stay safe on the road this summer!
Check Your Tyres!
Before setting off on a long journey you must check that your tyres are safe and legal – a £2,500 fine would not be the best start to your summer holiday!
Use a tyre tread depth gauge and ensure that your tyres have sufficient tread to keep you safe on the road. The legal minimum for tyre tread is 1.6mm, however, once tread drops below 3mm you should replace them as at this point your gripping capabilities are drastically affected. If you don’t have a tyre tread depth gauge you can use a 20 pence coin – learn how to check your tyre tread.
Make a visual inspection of your tyres to ensure that they have not suffered any damage. Signs that you should look out for include cuts, lumps and bulges. Always have your tyre inspected by a specialist if you do find any damage to the tyre, even if it seems small, as there could be structural damage to the tyre that you cannot see! Learn more about signs of tyre damage you should look for.
It is important that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure at all times but especially in hot temperatures! In warm conditions, air from tyres is lost more rapidly so more checks are required! You should also bear in mind that the recommended pressure for your tyres will change if you are driving with a heavier load than usual – check your vehicle manufacturer handbook to find the correct pressure for your tyres. Learn how to check your tyre pressures.
Fill Up Fluids
In hot weather we get thirsty – and so does your car! Make sure that all essential engine fluids are topped up before heading off on any journeys.
Engine coolant works to increase the boiling point of water and reduce the risk of your engine overheating when driving. To check that your engine coolant is at a sufficient level simply open the bonnet of your vehicle and identify your coolant container. You should see minimum and maximum markings on the container – visually look to ensure that the liquid sits comfortably between these lines. If it is too low, consult your vehicle handbook for information on topping it up or visit a specialist to have it refilled.
Your engine is made up of many different mechanical components and engine oil is essential as it works as a lubricant to protect these components against damage when moving. You can check your engine oil by locating and cleaning your dipstick and inserting it in to your engine oil container. Check that your engine oil sits above the minimum marking – which is usually indicated on the dipstick by a ‘MIN’ or ‘L’ marking. If the oil sits below this level, check your vehicle handbook for advice on topping it up.
In summer you may have to contend with dust, mud or rain when driving so you should ensure that you are able to quickly clear your windscreen so that your view of the road is not compromised. Check your windscreen washer fluid container bottle under the bonnet and top up using the solution specified in your vehicle handbook if necessary. In addition, you should also check that your windscreen wipers are in good condition and do not display signs of damage such as tears or fraying.
Book a Car Service
To ensure that your vehicle will not let you down on the road, a car service will provide a mechanical check of all essential components. If it is not quite time for a full service, you may wish to consider a Bronze Service.
A Bronze Service at Merityre Specialists is an interim service and includes essential checks to your tyres, brakes, lights and exhaust as well as an inspection of important engine fluids.
If you have any concerns about the condition of your vehicle or require any further advice, contact your local Merityre Specialists branch before setting off on any long journeys this summer.