Preparing for Long Distance Driving

As we see another weekend in the UK come to an end, we’ve decided to target this weeks post to long distance driving and how you can prepare your vehicle correctly to prevent damages and unexpected repairs.

So if you’re looking for ways to start preparing your car for long distance driving, then you’re going to love this. Of course, all of the points that are discussed in this post are our opinions alone.

Why Drive Long Distances?

During your average week, most people drive for the sake of commuting to and from a place of work. In some cases this proves to be significantly cheaper than using public transport such as trains or buses.

Of course, there are some people that use their vehicles as an office.

For example; a driving instructor in Leeds will spend most of their time in the car and complete approximately 8-10 hours a day of driving with a pupil. So for working people like this, maintaining the vehicle for regular, long distance use is very important.

Of course, besides working, many people use their cars to travel to holiday destinations and to visit family and friends.

Check the Servicing Due Date:

Before you begin your long journey its worth checking your service history log to see; A. When your vehicle was last checked and; B. When it is due to checked next.

If you need a car service in Milton Keynes within the next month, then this could be a great time to get it booked in before the due date. The technicians will complete a thorough check of the vehicle, making sure that it is safe for daily usage.

They’ll check areas such as generally operation, tyre pressures, fluids and more. You know that if your vehicle completes a service with relatively little hassle, you’re not going to have many problems when travelling.

Make Sure Your Tyres Are Safe:

This is a very common safety check that you can complete within a few minutes whilst on your drive before you leave.

You should always check the quality and tread depth of your tyres regularly anyway, but even more so when you’re preparing to travel longer distances.

Vehicles that carry heavy loads such as holiday items or furniture should take even more responsibility with their vehicles tyres. For example; A company that completes removals in London will carry a number of heavy items on a daily basis.

It’s important for them to make sure that the tread is legal, the tyres are correctly inflated and the right size for the truck. Use these points to check the safety of your tyres:

  • Always check your tyres when they’re cool
  • Make sure that the tyres are correctly fitted and secure
  • Check the tyre size with the vehicle handbook to make sure they are correct
  • Check that they’re correctly inflated
  • Check the tread and the general condition of the tyres
  • If tyres show signs of wear, consider replacing them

Changing Car Fluids

Assess the Fluid Levels:

Realistically, most vehicles fluid levels will be OK as they usually take a considerable amount of time to drop to an unsafe level. However, you should always check them before driving long distances.

Fluids to check before you begin driving are:

  • Engine Oil
  • Vehicle Coolant
  • Power Steering
  • Brake Fluid

As with any fluid check – make sure that you do it when the engine is cool to prevent injuries and burns. If you try to check and replenish fluids when the engine is hot, the current fluid levels may not be accurate.

Checking Your Engine Oil:

The engine oil levels are one of the most important areas of your vehicle and maintaining the oil level isn’t a difficult task. Simply allow the engine enough time to cool and open up the bonnet.

You’ll need a piece of paper or tissue to clear the oil off of the dipstick so you can get an accurate measurement of the oil level.

Pull the dipstick from the oil reservoir and use the tissue to clear it thoroughly. When you’re ready accurately place the dipstick back into the oil reservoir and pull it back up in one single movement.

Check the dipstick to make sure the oil is between the min/max markers at the lower end of the stick. If the level is below the minimum marker, make sure that you top it up.

Recap:

It’s important to check all aspects of your vehicle before you begin a long distance journey. There are a few things that you should look at before you set off. These include:

  • Your vehicles servicing history
  • Tyre safety
  • Fluid levels

If your car has recently had a service and MOT in Milton Keynes then you’d like to assume that your vehicle is in a safe, working condition. However, always check and then check again.

Vehicles change quickly and what may have been safe a week ago may no longer be the same.

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