RAC Cars News


We're All Going On A Summer Holiday!

By raccars Published

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If you haven't already made plans for a summer holiday abroad, the chances are you'll have to make the most of the UK. While motorists taking their cars abroad often take careful steps to make sure their vehicle and paperwork are fully prepared for the adventure, driving around the UK doesn't seem to warrant the same attention. However it would be a mistake to up and leave without at least making some basic checks - cars can suffer under the pressure of the season's heat, even in the UK's somewhat lacklustre summers. A breakdown could really take the fun out of your trip, not to mention the expense and inconvenience.

Check your car

Don't wait for disaster before you fix any health problems your car might have. If you don't plan to go in for a professional service, at least cast your eye over the following areas:

Tyres: the legal minimum tread depth for tyres in the UK is 1.6mm, but if yours are recording about 2-3mm, replace them now. A new tyre comes with about 8mm of tread. Make sure you are running your tyres with the correct pressure and give a visual inspection, to identify any cracks, tears or bulges.

Brakes: if you get a soft, spongy feel when applying the brakes, get them checked by a garage. The same applies if you press the brake and hear squealing or if your handbrake is a little slack.

Fluid check: your car's fluids are an essential part of its functioning. Coolant, brake fluid and oil, for example, all have very important jobs to perform and levels should be checked regularly, but particularly before a long journey. If levels are low, get them topped up and check for leaks. If you are losing a lot of fluid, get it rectified before the problem gets more serious.

Belts: your cam or auxiliary belts should be changed at regular intervals. Look over them for frays or cracks, which mean the belt must be changed and soon.

Keeping clean

You're going to be spending a lot of time in your car on this trip, which will be a far more pleasant experience in a clean, tidy vehicle. Give the car a good clean inside and out before you set off. If you can't get a good finish from a pressure washer and 'snow foam,' consider getting it professionally valeted.


If you have children in the back, keep them quiet with a good selection of games and DVDs - unless you like hearing a constant refrain of "are we there yet?!"

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