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Prepare your Car for an Easter Getaway

22nd March 2016

Planning to get away this Easter? Make sure your car doesn’t slow you down! Reduce the risk of a potential breakdown by following these helpful tips from Merityre Specialists before you head off on your journey!


Clean and Check your Car

It’s a good idea to give the exterior and interior of your vehicle a full spring clean at this time of year. Winter can leave lasting damage to your vehicle, so it is important to check it over and ensure you get any potential damage fixed.

These are the types of damage you should keep an eye out for and what you should do if you find them:

Damage: Corrosion
What it looks like: Metal that has corroded will be a rougher texture than it was and the silver colour may have turned dull or to a rusty orange colour.

What it does: If left corrosion can lead to a range of problems including brake leaks, and damage to the engine, exhaust and chassis of your vehicle.
What you should do: Take your vehicle to a specialist if you notice any signs of corrosion to prevent it from becoming a more serious problem. As a precaution against corrosion, you should spray a hose under your vehicle when you have driven in areas that have gritted roads.

Damage: Damp
What it looks like: Discoloured and wet patches inside the vehicle in interior.

What it does: Damp can cause unpleasant smells and can eventually lead to irreversible interior damage, lowering the resale value of your vehicle.
What you should do: If you find damp, shampoo your car interiors and leave the car doors open to allow everything to dry properly. As a preventive measure, you should use your heating to dry out your vehicle during winter.


Are your Tyres Safe?

When cleaning your car, you should also take some time to look after your tyres. You will need to visually inspect them for any signs of damage and ensure that tread depth meets the legal minimum of 1.6mm.

It is important that your tyres have sufficient levels of tread, so if you find that they are beginning to reach 3mm or below, you should consider having them replaced.

Before heading off on your Easter break, you should ensure that your tyres are inflated to the correct air pressures. You may need to adjust your tyre pressure, depending on the load of your vehicle. Take a look at our advice if you need further information on how to check your tyre pressure.


Fill up your Fluids

Before any long journey, it is important that you check that all your vehicle’s essential engine fluids are at sufficient levels.

This includes checking your engine oil which can be easily inspected at home using your dipstick. If it needs topping up or replacing do not ignore it as this oil keeps your engine running. Simply follow the guidelines in your vehicle handbook to top up or book an oil and filter change.

You should also check that your engine coolant is topped up before getting on the road. If it is not, remember to wait until your engine is cool before attempting to replenish this.

In addition, check and top up your screen wash. This is something to stay on top of during spring, as the frequent showers that come with this time of year can affect your vision. Whilst checking this, you should also have a look at your windscreen wipers to ensure that they are not damaged or worn.


Essentials to Carry

Before heading off on a long journey it is essential that you are prepared for whatever is ahead. You can do this by carrying the following items with you:

  • Bottled Water – both for drinking and to top up your engine coolant if your engine overheats on the road
  • Spare mobile phone – or a charger which plugs into the cigarette lighter of your car, are useful items to have in case of emergency
  • Sunglasses – The sun tends to sit lower in the sky in spring, so carrying sunglasses may help you to avoid its glare

If you have any concerns about the condition of your tyres or vehicle, you should contact your local Merityre Specialists branch for advice before setting off on your journey.