We all know how it goes…
List after list of things to do before we travel with children, especially at this time of year.
What we need to remember to pack, what to fully charge, what to book, or what to check into.
But there’s usually one thing we leave until the last minute; the travel plans.
You might be totally on it when it comes to making plans, but I’m not so great.
I’ll always look to see the vague direction that we’re headed when arranging something, but that’s about as far as it goes.
I’m always overly optimistic that everything will be fine.
After a quick check on Google Maps once the car is packed up, it’s usually a rush job to get out of the house to stick to our estimated time of arrival.
And then I realist I have forgotten to scrape the windscreen, top up the wiper fluid, or fill up with fuel.
Preparing for Christmas car journeys
Car maintenance and road safety are the things we should plan most when thinking about long journeys.
It should take priority over whether the iPad is charged (although that is also critical to remaining sane).
And as the Christmas getaway begins this Friday, drivers are being warned to expect long delays on the roads.
So here are a few pointers to help you to prepare the car for the festive journeys:
Make sure your service and MOT is up to date
If your car is over 3 years old, a valid MOT certificate is legally binding for all cars in UK by Ministry of Transport. Find a local garage such as Ossett Tyre House in Wakefield to book an MOT test.
If your car is due a service, book this in too.
Pack an ice scraper and empty fuel can
Ice, frost and snow have a habit of appearing at the most unhelpful of times. Make sure you’re not caught scraping your windows with a Nectar card (I have done that before), or left stranded because you’ve run out of fuel.
Check your tyre pressure
Bad tyre pressures can affect fuel economy, handling and comfort. It’s really easy to do too, and most petrol stations have air machines, so there is no excuse not to.
Check your oil level
If the oil is too high or too low, it can cause trouble for your engine. Make sure you are parked on level ground and wait the engine is cool. Locate the dipstick, wipe it clean, then push it all the way back in until the top of it is seated properly in the dip tube again. Wait a moment then pull it out again to check the level against the markers.
Check your screen wash
Salt or grit on the road mean that your windscreen might need constant cleaning on long journeys. Make sure wiper fluid reservoir is topped up regularly (50% good quality screen wash and 50% clean water).
Replace light bulbs
A dodgy brake light or headlight can be dangerous, disconcerting for other drivers, and also could earn you some points on your licence if the police catch up with you.
This was a collaborative post with Osset Tyre House. Opinions are my own.