Vital pre-Easter break vehicle checks

JonathanApril 17, 2014

Many of us will be heading off for a short break this weekend. Easter is a great time to get away from the daily grind for a few days, recharge the batteries and enjoy the beginning of springtime.

While plenty will be jetting off to foreign climes for their Easter vacation, even more of us will be heading to visit family or just spend a few days somewhere picturesque in the UK.

Before going on any long journey, there are a few vital checks you should carry out on your car to make sure it is up for the trip. None of these should take long at all once you get into the routine of going through them before setting off on any long trip.

Tyres

Motorists often let their tyres get into a really poor state and it's no surprise lots of the most common problems that come up on services are to do with this part of the car.

Tyres should last for a long time if they are maintained properly. Before any long journey, ensure the tyre pressure is set at the right level for your vehicle.

You should also give them a quick once-over to make sure they have enough tread on them and check carefully for any cuts, as these can cause a slow puncture if they are not fixed quickly.

Don't forget to check your spare tyre as well. There's no point carrying it if you can't use it.

Oil, brake fluid, screenwash and water

Many drivers will already be in the regular habit of topping up their engine oil, screenwash, brake fluid and water levels but newer motorists might not realise this is something they need to do.

Before a long journey is a great time to top up these vital liquids and make sure you carry some in reserve, for example stashed away in your boot, in case of emergencies.

It's worth keeping an eye on how often you are needing to top these up, as if you're doing so on a highly regular basis then it might be a sign there's a problem with your engine.

Lights

Most of us will have suffered the indignity of having a fellow motorist point out a problem with our car at some point and lights are usually the culprit here.

You should be checking all of your lights – including fog lights – on a weekly basis but if you don't manage this then at least make sure you check they're all working before a long journey.

The last thing you want is to get lost on the way to your destination, find yourself stuck in an unfamiliar place as it gets dark and then realise one of your lights has failed. So check them.

Wipers

While we'll all be hoping for bright skies and hot temperatures this Easter weekend, the chances are it will rain at some point – it is April, after all.

So make sure your windscreen wipers are in good working order before setting off on your long weekend break.

They should be replaced every year or so and don't skimp on the cheapest option in the shop. There's little more annoying than a squeaky wiper on a long journey and if you're stuck in the car for a few hours this will quickly drive you insane.


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