When going on a long journey, the last thing you want is for something to go wrong with your car or for you to have forgotten something. It is made even worse if the thing to go wrong was something you could have easily prevented just by doing a few pre-checks prior to your journey. When on a long trip, you can end up miles away from a garage and end up waiting by the side of the road for hours waiting for recovery can ruin your whole trip, so just taking a bit of time to prepare for your trip can save you money and time in the long run.
Before setting off on your journey, just checking things are working and don’t need replacing is easy and more beneficial; some people just think it’s never been a problem before, so do not bother; the only thing is that anything can happen anytime, so it is best to stop it happening before it has the chance. Here are ten ways you can prepare for your long car journey and try to make everything run as smoothly as possible.
- Make a checklist
Making a checklist before you even get started with anything else is a great way to make sure you do not forget to take something and do not forget to check something. If you are going on a long journey, it is less likely you are able to just turn back for something or pop home for it, so making sure you haven’t forgotten something will help your trip go a bit smoother. If you have a list, you can tick things off as you go and add things when you remember; this will allow you to know you have done something and not second guess yourself.
- Make a note of emergency numbers
Another great tip for going on a long journey is making sure you have a list of all the emergency numbers you may need. This could be a towing company close to where you are going or your car insurer’s number in case of an accident. It is also advised to have the number of your breakdown cover provider should you have it; this is because if you have no internet where you are, you can still call them and make sure you get help.
- Check your vehicle is safe
As a vehicle owner, there are a number of things you can check and do yourself to make sure your vehicle will be safe and function correctly while on your journey. A lot of people may not feel comfortable checking their car before a journey, but it is very simple to do and will save you money and time further down the line.
The first things you would want to check is the engine oil, wiper fluid, and engine coolant; these can all be located under the bonnet of the vehicle by the engine. The next thing to check is the pressure of your tires; you can do this at an air pump in the filling station or with a pressure gauge if you have one at home. To make sure you have the correct pressures check the sidewall of the tires, and it will advise on there what pressures the tires should be at and also noted in the manual for your vehicle.
After checking your pressures, then next make sure you have a spare tire in your car along with the kit for replacing the tire. If you do have a spare tire, then check it has not been used already and is not flat; if it is, then it will need replacing; having a spare tire is key if you want to get going again quickly if you have a puncture during your journey. Some vehicle manufacturers now supply kits to repair your tire instead of a spare, so make sure you have everything in this kit; there will usually be a checklist with it to make sure you have everything.
Once all the other checks have been completed, then it is time to check the electrical components like the brake lights, headlights, and fog lights. If any of these are not working, then you can replace the bulbs yourself; if you are not comfortable doing this, then you can take it to a garage to be done. If none of the lights are working, then it is likely to be a fuse that has gone, so this would need replacing.
- Take your car to the garage if you need to
There are a few things you can do yourself when checking your vehicle, but sometimes you cannot always deal with it yourself; this is when you need to make sure you take your vehicle to the garage to have it repaired. Also, if there is anything you have been putting off getting done, then this is a good time to get it done, so it is not made worse by the long journey you are about to do. Things you should look to take to a garage is, poor tire tread or if anything is in your tire, Issues with steering, issues with the exhaust, or any leaks coming from the vehicle.
- Make sure you pack the right tools
Sometimes while out on the road, you can fix things yourself after a breakdown, or you may need to wait on the side of the road for help to come. In order to do these things, you need to make sure you have the right tools and equipment. If you can fix things yourself, then make sure you have jump leads, screwdrivers, spanners, and a tire pump. If you are stuck on the side of the road, you would need something hi-vis like a jacket or vest, a torch, warm clothing, and emergency food and water. These are crucial things for fixing your vehicle or staying safe while you wait for it to be fixed; it can be cold and dangerous at the side of the road, so make sure you stay safe and exit your car in case of an accident.
If you are planning a long journey and you are unsure what you need to do to prepare for it, then these tips may help you to do just that and make sure your journey goes as smoothly as possible.