When you’re preparing for a long journey, whether that’s for work or pleasure, the most important checks you might be thinking of are whether you’ve packed everything you need, and whether you have enough food and drink stored to keep you energized along the way. Vehicle maintenance checks are essential before a long journey, even if you think your car is running fine, to make sure that you can have the safest and most confident drive.
Here are some key car checks you should make before you set off.
- Car Tire Pressure
Your car tires should always be at the correct pressure, but this is especially important before a long journey. Having your tires at the right pressure means that you won’t be wasting fuel when driving and keeps your tires protected at their optimum pressure level.
- How Much Fuel You Have
You don’t want to be worrying about running out of fuel before you’ve even started on your journey, so filling up before you set off is always a good idea – or at least checking your fuel gauge so you can decide whether you have more than enough, or whether you’d like to schedule a fuel stop into your planned route. Checking for fuel places on your route is always a good idea, even if you think you have enough.
- Check The Front of Your Vehicle
It can actually be quite rare for you to give the condition of the front of your vehicle a once over. You might always approach your car from behind and slip inside the driver’s door when focused on getting to work or traveling. Walking to the car becomes second nature for a lot of people, so it’s easy to not even look at the exterior while you’re climbing inside.
It’s a good idea to check the front of your vehicle, as well as under the hood whilst you’re there. This should include checking for any broken headlamps, checking the hood for any dents or damage, or double checking that your bumpers aren’t cracked. For the latter, there are also great overlays available for extra cover as well as aesthetic updates, like these Ford F-150 front bumper covers.
- Check That All Your Lights Work
This is essential if you’re planning on driving at night, or if you run into dark and dismal weather. You need to make sure your headlamps and rear lamps work, as well as your reversing light and fog lamps before you set off. Even if you don’t think you’ll need your lights, you don’t know how quickly the weather might change during your journey – or, if unexpected delays mean it turns to night quicker than anticipated.
- A Relevant Breakdown Service
Even if you already have a breakdown service you pay for, it’s a good idea to check that your membership covers the journey you’re about to take. Some cheaper services only cover a certain area, such as a specific mileage distance from your home address, so you’ll want to check that your intended route is okay for the breakdown service you have (or need) to make sure you always have help in an emergency.