Essential Car Checks Before Long Journeys

Before heading off on a long car journey we do everything we can to make the journey as comfortable as possible such as taking our favourite snacks, making a CD with all of our favourite tracks on and making sure we have something to keep the children entertained. We are so focussed on packing the car up that most people fail to ensure that their car is prepared for the ride too.
If you want a stress free car journey then it is essential that your car is well prepared. Here is a handy list of tips to help;


The in-car toolkit should have all essential items. The kit should at least contain the wheel brace, locking wheel nut key and car jack.


Before any long car journey you should check your tyres and this includes the spare too!
Pressure – Make sure that your tyre pressure is at the advised level. Insufficient tyre pressure can not only have an impact on the handling of the vehicle but it also increases fuel consumption. You can find your tyres’ pressure in the handbook. Most tyres however also display it on the side of the tyre. It is a number followed by ‘PSI’. You can check your tyre pressure with a gauge or even at your local petrol station. However it is important that you check your tyre pressure when your tyres are cold.
Tread – The tread depth of your tyres should be no less than 1.6mm, if your tyre tread is below this legal requirement they are likely to puncture and skidding is more likely.

Wipers and Screen Wash

Check to make sure that your wipers are in good condition and there are no tears present. Top up your screen wash levels because there is no doubt that you will be using it much more on motorways.


Make sure that you have sufficient oil in your car. Ideally you should check your oil levels every two weeks. To check your oil your engine must be cold. This normally means that it has not been used for at least an hour. If you have found that your oil is low check your manual or ask at your nearest Car Care Centre where they will be able to tell you the best recommended oil for your car.


It is vital that the water in your engine does not go below the minimum level. When you top your water up it is important that it is mixed with engine coolant with is important to stop your engine from overheating.


For safety reasons it is important that all of your lights are working properly. You should check your indicators, fog lights, break lights and reverse lights.
Jade works on behalf of Unipart Car Care Centre for more useful information visit their car blog