RAC Cars News


Preparing Your Car For Holidays

By raccars Published

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No, this doesn't involve a 'bikini body' diet, a full leg wax or stocking up on sunscreen. However, if you are planning to take a driving holiday this year, it's a good idea to take some time preparing your car for the journey.

If you are planning to subject your car to a lot more driving than it is used to, the very least you can do is treat it to a full service. This should not only help to ensure your holiday is not ruined by spending half a day stuck on the side of the motorway waiting for a breakdown recovery truck, but should also mean smoother and more efficient performance.

Check the pressure and tread of your tyres to make sure they are legal and safe - the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, but the general recommendation is to replace tyres once you can measure a tread depth lower than 3mm. Apart from tread depth, check also for any physical damage, such as holes and tears, which could lead to a blowout. Finally, check the tyre pressure and adjust if necessary according to the manufacturer's guidelines, usually found on a sticker inside the door frame or in your owner's manual.

Check fluids including windscreen wash, brake and power steering fluids, oil, coolant and transmission fluid. Of course, you should be checking these regularly!

While you will no doubt be hoping for blue skies and sunny days, rain could blight your holiday. Take a look at windscreen wipers and if you notice significant wear and tear or if you find they don't clean efficiently when you use them, replace your wiper blades. If you're prepared to spend a little more, aero wipers give a better finish.

Hopefully, you won't need to use those new wiper blades and will be blasting out the air conditioning instead. However, your air conditioning system can lose 10% of its gas every year and will function less efficiently as a result. Check your gas levels and recharge if necessary - before you start feeling the heat. If you use your air conditioning regularly, you should keep the system healthy, so use it for demisting in winter, even if you don't need to cool down.

Having dealt with the mechanicals, make sure you update your satellite navigation device before you set off and check that you have the maps uploaded for your destination. Having prepared thoroughly for the holiday, you shouldn't have too many problems, but just in case, you may want to consider investing in some breakdown cover...

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